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A. L. BURT COMPANY, o» o» i jt 

Copyright, 1902, 

By E. a. brainerd, 




Introduction v 

Of the Birth, Education, and early Life of Alexander. . • • 1 

The Assassination of Philip 14 

Transactions in Europe previous to the Invasion of Asia. 18 


State of the Civilized World, and of the Resources of the 
two Contending Parties, at the period of Alexander's In- 
vasion of Asia 46 

First Campaign of Asia 51 

The Second Campaign in Asia, B. C. 333 85 

Third Campaign, B. C. 332 117 

• • • 




Fourth Campaign, B. C. 331 143 

Fifth Campaign, B. C. 330 178 

The Sixth Campaign, B. C. 329 201 

Seventh Campaign, B. C. 328 234 

< haiti: re xir. 

Eighth Campaign, B. C. 327 239 

Ninth Campaign, B. C. 32G 272 

Ninth Campaign, B. C. 325 319 

Transactions of the Tenth Year in Asia, B. C. 324 340 

Last Year of Alexander's Life, B.C. 323 383 



Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. 

It has been said that none of mortal birth ever 
went through such an ordeal as Alexander the Great ^ 
and Arrian insists on certain points which ought not 
to be forgotten in forming an estimate of his hero. 
He was the son of the able and unscrupulous Philip 
and of the violent Olympias. He was brought up in 
a court notoriously licentious. He was a king at 
twenty — the greatest monarch of the world before 
thirty. A general who never knew defeat, he was 
-urrounded by men vastly inferior to himself, who 
intrigued for his favor and flattered his weakness. 
Thus inheriting a fierce and ambitious temper, and 
placed in circumstances calculated to foster it, it 
would have been little short of a miracle had Alex- 
ander shown a character without alloy. To stand on 
a pinnacle of greatness higher than man had ever 

iched before, and to be free at the same time from 
vanity, would have required a combination of virtues 
impossible before Christ, perhaps never possible,^ 
Alexander was beyond question vain, impulsive, pas- 


sionate, at times furious ; but he had strong affections, 
and called out strong affections in others. (A man of 
energy and ambition, he was the hardest worker of 
his day both in body and mind. Incapable of fear, 
he foresaw difficulties or combinations which others 
never dreamed of, and provided against them with 
successj Amid endless temptations this son of Philip 
remained comparatively pure. Unlike his fellow- 
countrymen, he was (says Arrian) no great drinker, ' 
though he loved a banquet and its genial flow of con- 
versation. On one point in his character Arrian 
dwells with an admiration in which we may heartily 
join. Alexander, he says, stood almost alone in his 
readiness to acknowledge and express regret for hav- 
ing done wrong. That in his later days, and when he 
had succeeded to the position of the Great King, he 
adopted the Persian dress and customs may be 
ascribed to the same motive which induced him him- 
self to marry, and to press his officers and soldiers to 
marry, Asiatic women, a politic desire not indeed to 
ape the ways of foreigners, but to amalgamate his 
diverse subjects into one body. And if, over and 
above this, he went so far as to claim divine honors 
as the son of a god, we may remember that of all men 
Greeks were most easily thrown off their balance by 
extraordinary prosperity, as were Miltiades and 
Alkibiades, Pausanias and Lysandros, and that few 
men of his day or country were more susceptible to 
the charm of heroic and legendary associations than 
was Alexander. Elated, therefore, by success, and 
genuinely wrought upon by the legends which were as 


the air ho breathed, he sot an extravagant value on 
obtaining a public recognition of the super-human 
nature of hid pow< re, in which, perhaps, he had even 
(•Mine to believe himself. 

It has been Baid in depreciation of Alexander that 
hia conquests were needle-.- and the bloodshed wan- 
ton, that lie gave the final Btroke to the ruin of free 
Bellas, and that whatever benefits Asia derived from 
it- conquests by Greeks were due rather to Alexan- 
der's bu< >rs than to himself. These objections are 
in the spirit as they are true in the letter. 
For on the first of these points we shall go altogether 
astray unless we place ourselves at the point of view 
of a Greek of the fourth century. His view of the 
relation- h tween himself and a barbarian (and all 
who were not Greeks were barbarians) was something 
similar to that of a mediaeval Christian towards a 
Mohammedan, or of a Mohammedan towards an in- 
fidel The natural state of things between them was 
war; and for the vanquished there remained death 
to the men, slavery or worse for women and children. 
Any milder treatment was magnanimous clemency. 
For years before Alexander, the idea of a war of re- 
vel (gainst Persia had been rife. That he should 
invade Asia, therefore, and put down the Great King, 

and harry and day his subjects, would seem to almost 

( - eek right and proper. 

A few here and there indeed were eleardioaded 

enough to see that the elevation <>{ ICacedon meant 
thed of all of fn ( •. It clearly was so. And 

yet, if we look the facts in the face, we observe (be 


free life of Greece in the fourth century assuming a 
phase incompatible in the long run with freedom. It 
was the day of orators, not of statesmen or warriors — 
of timid action and peace at any price. It was a time 
of isolation, when (thanks to Sparta) the glorious 
opportunity of a free Hellenic nation had been forever 
lost, and when the narrow Greek notion of political 
life within the compass of city walls and no further 
had reasserted itself. It was the day of mercenary 
forces, when free men talked of freedom but did not 
fight for it. It was a time of corruption, when politi- 
cians could be bought, and would sell their country's 
honor. Indeed, considering that the hegemony of 
Macedon was distinctly less oppressive than that of 
Sparta, we may well believe that while cities, like 
Athens or Sparta, which had once been leaders them- 
selves felt a real humiliation in subjection to Mace- 
don, many less prominent states felt it to be a change 
for the better, in proportion as such government was 
less oppressive than rulers of the type of the Spartan 
harmosts or the Thirty Tyrants at Athens. Tech- 
nically the Macedonian conquest did put an end to 
Hellenic freedom. On the other hand, that freedom 
was fast tending towards, if in some cases it had not 
already passed into, the anarchy which belies free- 
dom, or the pettiness which cramps it. 

Lastly, we may allow that in all probability Alex- 
ander neither intended nor foresaw half the benefits 
which resulted from his career to Asia and the world, 
without saying more than has to be said of every man 
iof commanding and progressive ideas. It is not, as a 


rule, given to men to see the fruit of their labors. 
[Nevertheless the world combines to honor those who 
initiate its varied steps of progress. The change for 
the better which Alexander's conquests made in Asia 
can hardly be exaggerated. Order look the place of 
disorder. The vast accumulations of the Persian 
kings, lying idle in their coffers, were once more 
brought into circulation, and at least tended to stimu- 
late energy and commercial activity. Cities were 
founded in great numbers. New channels of com- 
munication were opened between the ends of the 
empire. Confidence was restored ; and it may fairly 
be added that only the king's own premature death 
cut short the far-sighted plans which he had devised 
for the gradual elevation of his Asiatic subjects to the 
level of his European, and which, indeed, had already 
begun to work the results which he intended. It is 
true we can trace no signs of political reform in 
Alexander's projects ; but Asiatics had never known 
any but despotic government, and beyond question 
were unfit for any other; while a king of Macedon 
would probably look on government by free assem- 
blies with as much contempt and suspicion as a Tsar 
of Russia in our own day. Even Greece, which 
gained no direct benefit from the Macedonian empire, 
was yet indirectly a gainer, in the fact that it was her 
language which was the medium of communication, 
her literature which modified the religion that came 
back to her and to Europe from Asia. It was Alex-* 
ander who planted that literature and language in 
[Asia; and it was to Alexander that the great 


Christian cities of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexan- 
dria always looked back with reverence as in some 
sort their founder and benefactor. 

It would be difficult to conclude this short sketch of 
a heroic life more aptly than in the words of Bishop 
Thirlwall. " Alexander was one of the greatest of 
earth's sons — great above most for what he was in 
himself, and, not as many who have borne the title, 
for what was given to him to effect; great in the 
course which his ambition took, and the collateral 
aims which ennobled and purified it, so that it almost 
grew into one with the highest of which man is 
capable, the desire of knowledge and the love of good 
— in a word, great as one of the benefactors of his 


Greece, its islands, and the western part of Asia 
Minor, have, from the earliest ages, been the prin- 
cipal scene of the great struggle between the eastern 
and western worlds. Between the European and 
Asiatic, even under the same latitude, there exists 
a marked difference in feelings, manners and char- 
acter. That this difference is independent of climate 
and of country, and attributable to long-established 
habits, and a system of education transmitted down 
from the remotest ages, is apparent from the well- 
known facts, that the Greek at Seleucia on the 
Tigris, at Palmyra, Antioch, and the Egyptian Alex- 
andria, continued to be still a Greek ; while the Arab 
in Andalusia and Grenada was still an Arab, and 
the Turk in Europe has retained all the feelings, 
manners and customs of his oriental ancestors. It is 
not wonderful therefore that two races, so inherently 
different from each other, should, where limitary, be 
engaged in perpetual warfare. The great struggle 
has, in general, been in the vicinity of those narrow 
seas that separate Europe from Asia. It has now con- 
tinued, with strange vicissitudes, for more than six- 



and-twenty centuries, and longer too, if we add well- 
founded traditions to historical records, and yet there 
appears no sign of an approaching termination. By 
a curious inversion of their relative positions, the Eu- 
ropeans are on the banks of the Ganges and on the 
shores of the Caspian, and the Asiatics on the banks 
of the Danube and the shores of the Adriatic. 
But my present object is, not to trace the result 
of the struggle down to our days, but to give a 
short sketch of its leading events previous to the 
invasion of Asia by Alexander. 

I pass over the conquest of the Peloponnesus by 
the Phrygian Pelops, the establishment of a Phoeni- 
cian colony in Boeotia, and of other oriental settlers 
in various parts of Greece. I dwell not on the Argo- 
nautic expedition, the conquest of Troy by Hercules, 
the seizure and occupation of Rhodes and its depend- 
ant islands bv his immediate descendants, not from 
any doubt of the facts, but because they are not in 
the right line that conducts us down to the expedition 
of Alexander. 

The result of the second Trojan war was far dif- 
ferent, as the superiority attained by the Europeans 
in that contest enabled them to seize all the inter- 
vening islands, and to occupy the whole Asiatic coast, 
from Halicarnassus to Cvzicus, with their Dorian, 
Ionian and ^Eolian colonies. The first and last did 
not spread much, but the Ionians, the descendants of 
the civilized Achaeans and Athenians, flourished 
greatly, covered the seas with their fleets, and studded 
the shores of the Euxine with wealthy and splendid 


cities. These colonists in Asia were the founders of 
Grecian literature. From them sprung Homer and 
Hesiod, Alcrcus and Sappho, Thales and Herodotus. 
And had they possessed a system of civil polity 
adapted for the purpose, they possessed strength, 
knowledge and energy sufficient to have conquered 
all Asia. But their circle of action was narrowed 
by their confined views of constitutional governments. 
Even Aristotle, superior as he was to his countrymen, 
wrote, in much later times, that a hundred thousand 
and ^.ve thousand citizens were numbers equally in- 
compatible with the existence of a free state, as the 
greater number would render deliberation impossi- 
ble, and the less be inadequate for the purposes of 
self-defence. This limitation was grounded on the 
principle, that every Greek had an imprescriptible 
right to attend and vote in the great council of the 
nation, and to be eligible, in his turn, to the highest 
offices of the state. To fulfil these duties ablv and 
with advantage to the commonwealth, the constitu- 
tion supposed all free citizens to be gentlemen or 
wealthy yeomen, able to live upon their own means, 
without devoting themselves to any particular pro-^ 
fession or pursuit. The number of such men, in 
comparison with the great mass of the population 
condemned to hopeless slavery was very limited. 
Sparta, in the days of Aristotle, contained only nine 
thousand citizens. The loss of seven hundred war- 
riors, at the battle of Leuctra, had consequently 
proved fatal to her Grecian supremacy. The num- 
ber of Athenian citizens varied from twenty to thirty 


thousand. When therefore one thousand, probably 
the prime and flower of the nation, had fallen at 
Chaeroneia, the blow was regarded as irreparable, 
and all thoughts of further resistance abandoned. 

Hence it is apparent that the erection of any pow- 
erful monarchy, in the vicinity of states constituted 
on this principle, must eventually prove fatal to their 
independence. Such was the fate of the Grecian 
colonies in Asia. Their neighbors, the Lydians, un- 
der the government of the Mermnadse, a native dy- 
nasty, had become a powerful race ; and the discovery 
of the gold excavated from Mount Tmolus, or sifted 
from the bed of the Pactolus, furnished them with 
the means of supporting a regular army. After 
a lengthened contest they therefore succeeded in re- 
ducing to subjection all the continental Greeks. The 
conquered and the conquerors were united by Cyrus 
to his new empire, and became Persian subjects un- 
der Cambyses and Darius. The Ionians revolted 
from the latter, but were subdued after an unavail- 
ing struggle. At the commencement of the revolt, 
the Athenians sent a fleet to aid their colonists. The 
combined Athenian and Ionian forces marched to 
Sardes, and burnt the Lydian capital. This rash 
act drew on Athens and on Greece the whole ven- 
geance of the Persian monarchs. After a long and 
deadly contest the Greeks repelled the invaders, pur- 
sued them into Asia, and for a time liberated their 
Asiatic fellow-coimtrymen. But their own civil 
contests diverted their attention from foreign objects, 
and their splendid victories had no further result 


The same may be said of the two campaigns of 
Agesilaus in Asia, for the management of which 
Xenophon has praised him far beyond his merits. 
Then followed the disgraceful peace of Antalcidas, 
which once more consigned the Asiatic Greeks to the 
tender mercies of a Persian despot. From that 
period Persia changed her policy, and spared neither 
money nor intrigues in attempting to embroil the 
Grecian states with each other. For this conduct she 
had sufficient cause, for the expedition of the ten 
thousand had revealed to the hungry Greeks her 
weakness and their own strength. They had there- 
fore, of late, been eager to free themselves from the 
harassing contests of the numerous aristocracies and 
democracies, and to unite, under one head, in a 
serious and combined attack upon the Persian mon- 

Jason, the Thessalian, had nearly matured his 
plans, and had he not been suddenly arrested in his 
career, the Greeks would have probably invaded 
Asia under him as their captain-general: but his 
assassination only postponed the great event. 

Philip, the son of Amyntas, had followed the path 
marked out by Jason ; and, by patience, prudence and 
vigor, succeeded in his great object. The Thebans 
and Athenians, who contested the Macedonian su- 
premacy in the field, were defeated; and the Spar- 
tans, too proud to submit, too weak to resist, sullenly 
stood aloof from the general confederation, and with- 
held their vote from the Macedonian captain-general. 
But Persia was again saved from invasion by the 


death of Philip; and Alexander succeeded to his 
throne and pretensions, in the twentieth year of his 

Note. — The materials of the work have been principally 
drawn from Arrian and Strabo. Curtius, Plutarch, and 
Athenaeus, have furnished some illustrations, although I have 
thought it my duty to reject many of their anecdotes. 

In chronology, Mr. Fynes Clinton's Fasti Hellenici, a work 
worthy of the better days of classical literature, has been my 
guide. Mr. Clinton will see that I have differed from him in 
the arrangement of the later years. He overlooked the winter 
passed in the mountains between Cabul and the Indus, and 
hence was obliged to add a year to the residence at Babylon. 

In geography I have availed myself of all the labors of my 
predecessors, but have also found cause to dissent from them 
in many important points. My reasons for so doing are de- 
tailed at length in a work now in the press, but which will 
not probably make its appearance before this be published. 
In the mean time, I can only request the learned reader to 
suspend his judgment. 





'Alexander, the third king of Macedonia of that 
name, and commonly surnamed the Great, was born 
at Pell a three hundred and fifty-six years before 
Christ. His father Philip traced his origin through 
Temenus, the first Heracleid king of Argos, to Her- 
cules and Perseus. The family of his mother Olym- 
pias was no less illustrious ; for thje royal race of 
Epirus claimed to be lineally descended from Neop- 
tolemus, Achilles, and Peleus. As he could thus 
refer his origin to Jupiter by the three different lines 
of Perseus, Hercules, and Peleus, it is impossible 
for us in the present day to calculate the impression 
made on his vouthful mind bv so illustrious a descent. 
It is certain, however, that, from his earliest days, he 
proposed to himself to rival, and, if possible, surpass 
the renown of his ancestors. 

Philip received the news of the birth of his son in> 



mediately after the capture of the city of Potidsea, 
the peninsular situation of which had enabled it long 
to resist the Macedonian arms. On the same day 
he received intelligence of a victory gained by Par- 
menio over the Illyrians, and of the success of his 
horses in bearing away the first prize at the Olym- 
pic games. In after times the Asiatics remarked, 
with superstitious awe, that the magnificent temple 
of Diana at Ephesus had been destroyed by fire on 
the night of Alexander's birth, and that the general 
conflagration of Asia had been typified thus early by 
the destruction of its most splendid ornament. Per- 
haps it ought to be remarked, as a proof of the eager 
and restless spirit of the times, that the incendiary, 
who ought to have remained nameless, was willing to 
purchase deathless notoriety at the expense of his life, 
and preferred an infamous death to an unrecorded 
life. Such a state of morbid feeling could be pro- 
duced only in times of great and common excite- 

Nothing certain is known respecting the infancy 
and childhood of Alexander. The letter which Philip 
is supposed to have written to Aristotle on the birth 
of the prince, is, I fear, a forgery. For it is rather 
incompatible with the fact, that Aristotle did not take 
the immediate charge of his duties until his pupil 
had attained his fifteenth year. But as the philos- 
opher's father had been the favorite physician in the 
Macedonian court, it is not unlikely that even the 
earlier years of the prince were under the superinten- 
dence of his great preceptor, and that his primary" 

Mtat. 1— 7.J EARLY EDUCATION. 3 

education was conducted according to his suggestions. 
If such was the case, we can easily deduce the princi- 
ples on which both the earlier and more mature edu- 
cation of Alexander was conducted, from Aristotle's 
Treatise on Politics, where they are developed. 

He divides a regular course of education into three 
parts. The first comprises the period from the birth 
to the completion of the seventh year. The second 
from the commencement of the eighth to the comple- 
tion of the eighteenth year, and the third from the 
eighteenth to the twenty-first. 

According to Aristotle, more care should be taken 
of the body than of the mind for the first seven years: 
strict attention to diet be enforced, and the infant 
from his infancv habituated to bear cold. This habit 
is attainable either by cold bathing or light clothing. 
The eye and ear of the child should be most watch- 
fully and severely guarded against contamination of 
every kind, and unrestrained communication with 
servants be strictly prevented. Even his amuse- 
ments should be under due regulation, and rendered 
as interesting and intellectual as possible. 

It must always remain doubtful, how far Olym- 
pias would allow such excellent precepts to be put 
in execution. But it is recorded that Leonnatus, 
the governor of the young prince, was an austere 
man, of great severity of manner, and not likely to 
relax any adopted rules. He was also a relation of 
Olympias, and as such might doubtless enforce a 
system upon which no stranger would be allowed to 
act. The great strength, agility, and hardy habits 


of Alexander, are the best proofs that this part of 
his education was not neglected, and his lasting af- 
fection for his noble nurse Lannice, the daughter of 
Dropidas, proves also that it was conducted with gen- 
tleness and affection. 

The intellectual education of Alexander would, 
on Aristotle's plan, commence with his eighth year. 
About this period of his life, Lysimachus, an Acar- 
nanian, was appointed his preceptor. Plutarch gives 
him an unfavorable character, and insinuates that 
he was more desirous to ingratiate himself with the 
royal family, than effectually to discharge the duties 
of his office. It was his delight to call Philip, Peleus ; 
Alexander Achilles, and to claim for himself the 
honorary name of Phoenix. Early impressions are 
the strongest, and even the pedantic allusions of the 
Acarnanian might render the young prince more 
eager to imitate his Homeric model. 

Aristotle mentions four principal branches of edu- 
cation as belonging to the first part of the middle 
period. These are literature, gymnastics, music, and 
painting, of which writing formed a subordinate 
branch. As the treatise on politics was left in an 
unfinished state, we have no means of defining what 
was comprehended under his general term literature, 
but commencing with reading and the principles of 
grammar, it apparently included composition in verse 
and prose, and the study of the historians and poets 
of Greece. During this period the lighter gymnas- 
tics alone were to be introduced, and especially such 
exercises as are best calculated to promote graceful- 


ness of manner and personal activity. Aristotle had 
strong objections to the more violent exertions of the 
gymnasium during early life, as he considered them 
injurious to the growth of the body, and to the future 
strength of the adult. In proof of this he adduces 
the conclusive fact that in the long list of Olympic 
victors only two, or at most, three instances had oc- 
curred in which the same person had proved victor in 
youth and in manhood. Premature training and over- 
exertion he, therefore, regarded as injurious to the 

JSTot only the theory of painting, but also a certain 
skill in handling the pencil, was to be acquired. Aris- 
totle regarded this elegant art as peculiarly conduc- 
ing to create a habit of order and arrangement, and 
to impress the mind with a feeling of the beautiful. 

JVIusic both in theory and practice, vocal and in- 
struental, was considered by him as a necessary part 
of education, on account of the soothing and puri- 
fying effects of simple melodies, and because men, 
wearied with more serious pursuits, require an ele- 
gant and innocent recreation. By way of illustra- 
tion, he adds that music is to the man what a rattle 
is to the child. Such were the studies that occupied 
the attention of the youthful Alexander between the 
seventh and fourteenth year of his age. When he 
was in his eleventh year, Demosthenes, ^Eschines, 
and eight other leading Athenians, visited his father's 
court as ambassadors, and Philip was so proud of the 
proficiency of his son, that he ventured to exhibit 
him before these arbiters of taste. The young 


prince gave specimens of his skill in playing on the 
harp, in declamation, and in reciting a dramatic 
dialogue with one of his youthful companions. But 
if we can believe iEsehines, Demosthenes was partic- 
ularly severe on the false accents and Dorian into- 
nations of the noble boy. 

In his fifteenth year he was placed under the im- 
mediate tuition of the great philosopher, according 
to whose advice I have supposed his earlier educa- 
tion to have been conducted. In the year B. C. 342, 
Aristotle joined his illustrious pupil, and did not 
finally quit him until he passed over into Asia. 

The master was worthy of his pupil, and the pupil 
of his master. The mental stores of Aristotle were 
vast, and all arranged with admirable accuracy and 
judgment. His style of speaking and writing pure, 
clear, and precise ; and his industry in accumulating 
particular facts, only equalled by his sagacity in 
drawing general inferences. Alexander was gifted 
with great quickness of apprehension, an insatiable 
desire of knowledge, and an ambition not to be satis- 
fied with the second place in any pursuit. 

Such a pupil under such a master must soon have 
acquired a sufficient knowledge of those branches de- 
scribed before, as occupying the middle period of edu- 
cation. He would then enter on the final course in- 
tended for the completion of his literary studies. 
This comprehended what Aristotle calls Matheses, 
and included the branches of human learning ar- 
ranged at present under the general term mathema- 
tics. To these, as far as they could be scientifically 


treated, were added moral philosophy, logic, rhetoric, 
the art of poetry, the theory of political government, 
and the more evident principles of natural philo- 
sophy. On these subjects we still possess treatises 
written by Aristotle, in the first place most probably 
for the use of his pupil, and afterwards published for 
the public benefit. 

We learn also from a letter of Alexander preserved 
by Plutarch, that Aristotle had initiated his pupil in 
those deep and mysterious speculations of Grecian 
philosophy, which treated of the nature of the Deity, 
of the human soul, of the eternity and other qualities 
of matter, and of other topics which prudential rea- 
sons prevented the philosopher from publicly explain- 
ing. As the letter gives a lively idea of the exclusive 
ambition of Alexander, I here insert it. It was occa- 
sioned by the publication of Aristotle's treatise on 
that branch of knowledge called from that very book 



ILYou did wrong in publishing those branches of 
science hitherto not to be acquired except from oral 
instruction. In what shall I excel others if the moro 
profound knowledge I gained from you be communi- 
cated to all. For my part I had rather surpass the 
majority of mankind in the sublimer branches of 
learning than in extent of power and dominion — 
Farewell Pj? 


LBut the great object of Aristotle was to render his 
pupil an accomplished statesman, and to qualify him 
to govern with wisdom, firmness, and justice, the 
great empire destined to be inherited and acquired by 
him.J It was his province to impress deeply upon his 
mind the truths of rnoxal philosophy, to habituate 
him to practice its precepts, to store his mind with 
historical facts, to teach him how to draw useful in- 
ferences from them, and to explain the means best cal- 
culated to promote^ the improvement and increase the 
stability of empires! 

It is difficult to say what were the religious opin- 
ions inculcated by Aristotle on his pupil's mind. In 
their effects they were decided and tolerant. We 
may therefore conclude that they were the same as are 
expressed by Aristotle, who maintained the universal- 
ity of the Deity and the manifestation of his power 
and will under various forms in various countries. 

As in modern, so in ancient times, great differences 
of opinion prevailed on the subject of education. 
Some directed their attention principally to the con- 
duct of the intellect, others to the f ormation of moral 
feelings and habits, and a third party appeared more 
anxious to improve the carriage and strengthen the 
bodv bv healthful exercise than to enlighten the mind. 
Aristotle's plan was to unite the three systems, and 
to make them co-operate in the formation of the per- 
fect character, called in Greek, the xaXog xai ayaOog. 
In truth, no talents can compensate for the want of 
moral worth ; and good intentions, separated from 
talents, often inflict the deepest injuries, while their 


possessor wishes to confer the greatest benefits on 
mankind. Nor can it be doubted, that a sound con- 
stitution, elegance of manner, and gracefulness of 
person, are most useful auxiliaries in carrying into 
effect measures emanating from virtuous principles, 
and conducted by superior talents. 

It is not to be supposed that Aristotle wished to 
instruct his pupil deeply in all the above-mentioned 
branches of education. He expressly states that the 
liberally educated man, or the perfect gentleman, 
should not be profoundly scientific, because a course 
of general knowledge, and what we call polite litera- 
ture, is more beneficial to the mind than a complete 
proficiency in one or more sciences ; a proficiency not 
to be acquired without a disproportionate sacrifice of 
time and labor. 

It was also one of Aristotle's maxims that the 
education should vary according to the destination 
of the pupil in future life ; that is, supposing him 
to be a gentleman, whether he was to devote himself 
to a life of action, or of contemplation. Whether 
he was to engage in the busy scenes of the world, and 
plunge amidst the contentions and struggles of polit- 
ical warfare, or to live apart from active life in 
philosophic enjoyments and contemplative retire- 
ment. Although the philosopher gave the preference 
to the latter mode of living, he well knew that his 
pupil must be prepared for the former ; for the throne 
of Macedonia could not be retained by a monarch 
devoted to elegant ease, literary pursuits, and refined 
enjoyments. The successor of Philip ought to pos- 


sess the power of reasoning accurately, acting deci- 
sively, and expressing his ideas with perspicuity, ele- 
gance, and energy. 

I have mentioned these particulars because it 
would be difficult to form just conceptions of the 
character of Alexander without taking into consider- 
ation, not only the great advantages enjoyed by him 
in early youth, but also the recorded fact that he 
availed himself of these advantages to the utmost. 
Amidst his various studies, however, Homer was the 
god of his idolatry; the Iliad, the object of his enthu- 
siastic admiration. The poet, as Aristotle emphati- 
cally names him, was his inseparable companion: 
from him he drew his maxims; from him he bor- 
rowed his models. The preceptor partook in this 
point of the enthusiasm of his pupil, and the most 
accurate copy of the great poem was prepared by Aris- 
totle, and placed by Alexander in the most precious 
casket which he found among the spoils of Darius. 

Eager as Alexander was in the pursuit of knowl- 
edge, it must not be supposed that Philip would 
allow his successor to form the habits of a recluse ; on 
the contrary,] he early initiated him in the duties of 
his high station. At the age of sixteen he was ap- 
pointed Regent of Macedonians while his father was 
detained at the siege of Byzantium, and on a prior 
occasion astonished some Persian deputies by the 
pertinency of his questions, and the acuteness of his 
intellect. His studies were diversified even by the 
toils of war£ and in his eighteenth year he commanded 
the left wing of the army at the celebrated battle of 


Chseroneia, and defeated the Thebans) before Philip 
had been equally successful against the Athenians. 
In the following year Philip destroyed the peace 
of his family by marrying Cleopatra the niece of 
Attalus, one of his generals, and by disgracing, if not 
divorcing, Olympias. Philip had married many 
wives, but they were the sisters or daughters of 
Thracian, Illyrian, and Thessalian chiefs, and prob- 
ably not entitled to the honors of sovereignty. But 
his marriage with a Macedonian lady of high rank 
and powerful connections could only tend to a formal 
rupture with Olympias. To widen the breach 
Philip changed his bride's name from Cleopatra to 
Eurydice, his mother's name. That this was done 
by way of declaring her the legitimat e queen, may 
be inferred from the fact that when a princess called 
Adea married Aridams, Alexander's successor, her 
name also was changed into Eurydice. ( The natural 
consequence was, that Alexander became suspicious 
of his father's intention about the succession, and a 
misunderstanding took place, which ended in the 
flight or banishment of several of the prince's most 
intimate friends, and in his own retirement with his 
mother into her native country. Subsequently /a rec- 
onciliation took place, and Olympias and the prince 
returned into Macedonia.^ Alexander, the reigning 
king ofJEmrus, and the brother of Olympias, accom- 
panied them, and the re-union was celebrated by his 
marriage with Cleopatra the daughter of Philip. 
During the. festivities attendant on the nuptials, 
Philip was assassinated by Pausanias, one of the 

■ \ 


great officers of his guards. As this event led some 
writers to question the fair fame of Alexander, it will 
be necessary, in order perfectly to understand the 
subject, briefly to glance at the previous history of the 
Macedonian monarchy. 

( Note. — Alexander, as son of Philip II. of Macedon and Olym- 
pias, may be cited as a marked instance of hereditary genius. 
The two parents were possessed of marked abilities, and, wide- 
ly as they differed, partly because they differed so widely, the 
union has been considered ideal, at least from the intellectual 
standpoint. ( Philip having spent his youth as a hostage in 
Thebes, where he was practically a guest in the house of 
Epaminondas the illustrious statesman and general, was 
familiar with Greek culture*. Personally he was intellectual, 
sagacious, crafty, and unscrupulous, a perfect specimen of 
the "practical politician." Olympias, on the other hand, was 
highly emotional, and, according to the barbaric idea of the 
religion of that day, intensely religious. According to Plu- 
tarch, in the practice of the " mysteries," or ritual, she was 
" wont in the sacred dances to have about her great tame 
serpents, which, sometimes creeping out of the ivy and the 
mystic fans, and sometimes winding themselves about the 
staffs and the chaplets which the women bore, presented a 
sight of horror to the men who beheld." She was not of a 
jealous disposition, but was remarkably tolerant of her hus- 
band's irregularities. 

From these parents Alexander received his native genius. 
He also had the benefit of personal association with both of 
them during the formative period of his youth, for he was in 
his seventeenth year when the quarrel occurred that for a 
time separated his parents. Philip, like many other intel- 
lectual men — David, Solomon, Napoleon — was extremely 
sensual, but he did not allow his sensuality to interfere with 
his cool, calculating intellect. Nor did Olympias take offence 
at the plurality of his wives and concubines until the marriage 
with the Macedonian princess, Cleopatra, threatened the dis 
placement of Alexander as heir to the throne. 


With such parents Alexander spent more than sixteen 
years of his life, and his tutor was the great philosopher 
Aristotle, whose philosophic thought has formed the best 
thinking of the world for over two thousand years. Whether 
the details of Aristotle's plan of education were perfect or 
not, is a minor consideration ; the important fact is that 
Alexander was intimately associated with the man behind 
the philosophy. 

It may further be mentioned that among the contemporaries 
of Alexander were Plato, Xenophon, Isocrates, Demosthenes, 
and iEschines. Though he did not personally know all these, 
lie was familiar witli their names and their thoughts, and to 
an alert mind like his, the very air was full of inspiration. 



Philip was slain late in the autumn of the year 
B. C. 336. He had succeeded in all his projects, and 
intended with the spring to lead the combined forces 
of Greece into Asia. He was celebrating the nuptials 
of his daughter Cleopatra with Alexander, King of 
Epirus, with great pomp, and magnificence. The 
religious sacrifices, the processions, the theatrical 
representations, and the attendant festivities, were 
on the most splendid scale, and testified to the world 
the joy of Philip in being reconciled to his son and 
the royal family of Epirus. 

On one of these public days, Pausanias, whose 
office furnished him with ample opportunities, 
stabbed his sovereign to the heart as he was entering 
the theatre. He was immediately cut to pieces by the 
guards, who were too much attached to Philip to hesi- 
tate under such circumstances. This event appears 
to have paralyzed the conspirators, who apparently 
were ill prepared for such a result. In the confusion 
Alexander, the son of Aeropus, was the first to buckle 
on his armor, to seek the prince, and escort him to 
the palace. The troops and the leading Macedonians 
were summoned to a tumultuary assembly and Alex- 



ander was declared king by general acclamation. He 
returned thanks in an energetic speech ; and expressed 
his hopes that his conduct would soon cause them to 
say that nothing but the name of their king had been 

Even Justin allows that his first care was to put 
his father's assassins to death. Pausanias had al- 
ready expiated his guilt with his life. The three 
leading men that suffered on the occasion, were Hero- 
menes,Arrhabaeus, and Amyntas,the son of Perdiccas. 
Alexander, the son of Aeropus, was also accused of 
having participated in the plot, nor was there much 
doubt of his guilt. His conduct after the assassina- 
tion ensured his safety, although it did not prove his 
innocence. Amvntas, the son of Antiochus, another 
prince of the blood royal, either from fear, conscious 
guilt, or treasonable intentions, escaped into Asia. 
He was received with open arms by the Persian court, 
and at a later period entrusted with the command of 
the Greek mercenaries in the service of Darius. 

It is more than probable that the conspirators were 
in correspondence with the Persian court, and that 
ample promises of protection and support were given 
to men undertaking to deliver the empire from the 
impending invasion of the Captain General of Greece. 
Alerander, in his answer to the first proposals of 
Darius, openly charges the Persians with having been 
the instigators of his father's murder ; and the trans- 
actions connected with Amyntas, the son of Antio- 
chus, and Alexander the Lyncestian, hereafter to be 
noticed, show that the Persian court of that day was 


as little scrupulous about the means of destroying a 
formidable enemy as it had been in the days of 
Clearchus. Demosthenes was then the principal 
agent of Persia in Greece, and Charidemus, one of 
his great friends and supporters, was at ^Egse when 
Philip's death occurred. The event was public, and 
could not be concealed. The deputies of all Greece 
were assembled there ; and no private messenger from 
Charidemus to Demosthenes could have outstripped 
the speed with which the news of such an event 
passes from mouth to mouth in a populous country; 
not to mention that Charidemus would not have been 
the only deputy likely to dispatch a messenger on such 
an occasion. Yet Demosthenes announced the death 
of Philip to the Athenian assembly long before the 
news reached Athens from any other quarter. He 
confirmed the truth of his assertion with an oath, and 
ascribed his knowledge of the event to an immediate 
revelation from Jupiter and Minerva. The accuracy 
of his information and the falsehood respecting the 
alleged sources of his intelligence, almost indisputa- 
bly prove that he was an accessory before the fact, 
and that he had previous notification of the very day 
on which the conspirators were to act.* 

* The reconciliation between Philip and Olympias was, as 
stated above, attended with, or possibly occasioned by the 
marriage between the king of Epirus, who was a brother of 
Olympias, and Cleopatra a daughter of Philip. The marriage 
festivities were arranged on an imperial scale. Princes and 
statesmen were present, and powerful cities, including even 
Athens, had their representatives at the ceremonies in honor 
of the event. 


On the second and great day of the festival, Philip walked 
to the theatre ostentatiously separated from his body-guard. 
The assassin, concealed near the door of the theater, felled 
his victim with his sword, sprung upon a horse that was in 
readiness, and might have escaped but for an accident by 
which he was thrown from his horse. 

The motive of the assassin, Pausanias by name, was per- 
sonal, even though in carrying out the scheme he may have 
become a tool of Persia. He esteemed himself grossly insulted 
by Attains, a prominent general in Philip's army, tailing to 
secure redress from Philip, he sought revenge by the murder 
of the latter. Pausanias was a member of the king's body- 

• .' 



Alexander had scarcely completed his twentieth 
year when he was thus suddenly called to fill his 
father's place. His difficulties were great, and ene- 
mies were rising on every side. The federal empire 
established by Philip was threatened with instant dis- 
solution. The Barbarians on the w T est, north, and 
east of Macedonia were preparing to renounce their 
subjection, and resume their hostility and predatory 
habits. In southern Greece Sparta, standing aloof 
from the general confederacy, claimed the supremacy 
as due to her, and presented a rallying point for the 
disaffected. Athens, smarting under her humiliation, 
and eager for novelty, was ready to renounce her 
forced acquiescence in the terms of the union, and 
renew her engagements with Persia. But Alexander 
was equal to the crisis. After punishing the mur- 
derers of his father, and arranging the internal affairs 
of Macedonia, he marched to the south at the head of 
a chosen body of troops. 

The T hessali ans had been for many years the firm 


Mat. 20.] MARCH INTO GREECE. 19 

friends and supporters of the Macedonian kings. 
They had restored Amyntas to his throne; and 
Philip, in conjunction with the noble family of the 
Aleuadae, had rescued them from the domination of 
tyrants. The Thessalians, in return, elected him as 
the national chief, and under his patronage enjoyed 
peace and tranquillity, to which they had long been 
strangers. But as in all Grecian states there existed 
violent factions, perhaps we ought to give credit to 
those historians who write that an attempt was made 
to occupy the pass of Tempe, and prevent Alexander 
from entering Thessaly. If such were the case, it 
proved unavailing and the king reached Larissa with- 
out any serious resistance. The General Assembly 
of Thessaly was called together, and by an unanimous 
vote decreed the same authority and honors to the son 
as had been enjoyed by the father. His Thessalian 
friends escorted him to Thermopylae, where the 
Amphictionic Council had been summoned to meet 
him. The assembled deputies recognized him as one 
of their number, and as the successor of his father in 
the important office, to which the execution of the 
decrees of the council belonged. 

Hence he hastened to Corinth, where a Pan-Hel- 
lenic Council met, in which he was appointed Cap- 
tain-General of the Greek confederacy, and empow- 
ered to make war on the Persians, their common 
enemies. The Lacedaemonians again dissented, and 
proudly alleged that it had been always their practice 
to lead, and not to follow. The Athenians, whose 
conduct could not bear strict investigation, were more 



lavish of their honors to Alexander, than they had 
been to Philip. 

It is impossible to account for his great success in 
these delicate negotiations without confessing that all 
his proceedings must have been guided by the most 
consummate wisdom. But Alexander had made no 
change among his father's ministers; the spirit of 
Philip still presided in the council-room and the 
interpreters of his opinions predominated there. 
Antipater and Parmenio are repeatedly mentioned 
by the Athenian orators as the two great ministers 
of Philip. To the former he trusted in civil, to the 
latter in military affairs. Two anecdotes, recorded 
by Plutarch, are well adapted to throw light upon 
the supposed characters of the two men. Their 
truth, in such a case, is of little importance. 

Philip at times loved to drink deeply. On one 
occasion when he observed his party rather reluctant 
to steep their senses in forgetfulness, " Drink," said 
he, " drink ; all is safe, for Antipater is awake." In 
allusion to the numerous generals whom the jealousy 
of the Athenian democracy united in the command 
of their armies, and whom its impatience often re- 
placed by an equal number, Philip said, " Fortu- 
nate Athenians, in possessing so many generals, 
while I have never seen one but Parmenio." 

Greater credit is due to Alexander in this respect, 
as these two great men naturally adhered to Philip 
in the misunderstanding that took place between him 
and his son ; and the youthful monarch had personal 
friends, of distinguished merit, who at his father's 

jfetttt. 20.] DIOGENES. 21 

death were exiles on his account. These were Har- 
palus, Ptolemy the son of Lagus, Nearchus, Erygius, 
and his brother Laomedon. They were of course 
recalled from exile, but their promotion to high offices 
was slow, though certain. Their names will often 
recur during the following life. 

Diogenes, commonly called by the Greeks 6 xuwv, or 
the dog, and from whom the Cynic philosophers were 
named, resided then at Corinth. His contempt for 
all the decencies and proprieties of civilized life, 
joined to great rudeness of manner and readiness in 
sharp and pithy replies, had procured him great 
notoriety. His usual residence was a tub, placed 
under the walls of the Corinthian gymnasium. 
From this he declaimed to all willing listeners 
against the habits of civilized life, and upon the 
great superiority of savage existence. Alexander 
was tempted to visit him ; and after questioning 
him respecting his doctrines, requested to know 
if he could be of any service. " Be so good " (said 
the basking philosopher, true to his principles) " as 
to stand from between me and the sun." The king 
was so much struck with the independent spirit 
manifested in this reply that he said to his officers, 
" Were I not Alexander, I should wish to be Dio- 
genes." The king was young, the philosopher far 
advanced in years, yet their death occurred about the 
same period. Diogenes was one morning found dead 
in his tub, with his face enveloped in his cloak. His 
friends and disciples, for he had many, could not 
decide whether his death had been caused by a volun- 


tary suppression of breath, or by indigestion. More 
probably from the latter cause, as his last meal had 
been the raw leg of an ox; at least so says his 
biographers and namesake Diogenes Lsertius. 
V After having thus successfully arranged the affairs 
of Southern Greece, and succeeded in all his projects, 
Alexander returned to spend the winter in Macedo- 
nia, and to prepare for an early expedition against his 
more turbulent northern and western neighbors. 
With the spring he marched against the Thracians of 
Mount Haemus and its vicinity. 

The army set out from Pella, reached Amphipolis, 
crossed first the Strymon, then the Nestus, and in ten 
marches from the banks of the latter river arrived at 
the southern foot of Mount Hsemus the modern Bal- 
kan. He found the defiles in possession of the moun- 
taineers and other independent Thracian tribes. 
They had occupied the summit of a mountain that 
completely commanded the pass, and rendered ad- 
vance impossible. Alexander carefully examined 
the mountain range, but failed to discover any other 
practicable defile. He determined therefore to storm 
the enemy's position, and thus force his way. The 
mountain's brow was crowned with a line of waggons, 
intended not only to serve as a rampart, but to be 
rolled down precipitously upon the ascending phal- 
anx. In order to meet this danger, Alexander or- 
dered the soldiers to open their ranks where the 
ground would allow it, and permit the waggons to 
pass through the intervals ; where that was impossible 
to throw themselves on the ground, lock their shields 

JEt&t. 20.] MOUNT H^EMUS. 23 

together in that position, and allow the waggons to 
roll over them. The shields of the Macedonian 
phalanx could be interlinked in cases of necessity. 
This enabled them to disperse the pressure of the 
wheels among many bucklers. And when the first 
shock had been withstood the waggons glided lightly 
over the brazen pavement and quitted it with a 
bound, i 

A few were injured by the crush, but not a man 
was killed. Encouraged by the success of their new 
manoeuvre, they rose, charged up the hill, gained the 
summit, and the victory was won ; for the half-armed 
barbarians could not withstand the charge of the ser- 
ried line of pikes, and fled over the hills in every 

The pass by which Alexander crossed Mount 
Hserrms continues to be the main road between the 
plains of Hadrianople and the vale of the Danube. 
It follows the course of the Adra, one of the tribu- 
taries of the TIebrus or Marizza; it then crosses the 
main ridge, and descends along the Iatrus, still called 
the Iantra, into the vast plain between the northern 
foot of Hsemus and the Danube. This plain, at the 
period of Alexander's invasion was possessed by the 
Triballi, a warlike Thracian tribe, against which 
Philip had often warred with varying success. They 
had not long been masters of the country, because in 
the time of Herodotus it formed the principal seat of 
the Geta?, whom the Triballi drove beyond the Dan- 
ube. The modern maps of this country, except on 
the line of the great roads, are not to be trusted. 


Even Macedonia, until within a century, was, to a 
great extent, unexplored, and the site of its ancient 
cities was only matter of conjecture. Syrmus, the 
Triballian chief, did not wait to be attacked, but 
retired with his court and family into a large island 
in the Danube. The Greeks named it Peuce, prob- 
ably from the number of' its pine-trees. Strabo 
places it twelve miles from the sea, and adds that 
Darius bridged the Danube either at its lower or 
upper end. But his Byzantine epitomist, who was 
perfectly acquainted with the coast, describes it as 
a triangle, inclosed between the two main branches 
of the Danube and the sea. The latter description is 
still applicable, and the name of Piczina is easily 
identified with Peuce or Peucine. 

]Sk>r ought it to be regarded as wonderful that a 
river of the size and rapidity of the Danube has 
effected so slight a change during twenty centuries. 
For although it cannot be denied, mathematically 
speaking, that the annual tribute of soil carried by 
rivers to the sea must, in the countless lapse of ages, 
wear down the mountains and fill the seas, yet, as far 
as I have been enabled to form a judgment the actual 
changes within, the last two thousand years have been 
very trifling. 

Within three days' march of the Danube Alexan- 
der crossed a stream called by Arrian, Lyginus. The 
name is not found in other authors, and was probably 
given upon the spot to one of the slow streams that 
meander through the plain. In English its name 
is equivalent to the willow-river. Alexander was 


marching upon Peuce when he received information 
that the great body of the Triballi had taken circuit, 
passed to his rear, and posted themselves on the banks 
of the Lyginus. This movement must have inter- 
cepted all communication between him and Macedo- 
nia. He immediately turned round, marched his 
army back, and found the Triballi drawn up in the 
wood that lined the banks of the stream. A sharp 
engagement took place, in which the Triballi were not 
inferior as long as it continued a contest of missiles, 
but when the cavalry supported by the phalanx had 
reached their main body, the charge was irresistible, 
and they were driven first into the ravine and .then 
into the river. Three thousand Triballi were slain ; 
the prisoners were few, as the enemy could not be 
safely pursued through the thickets that covered the 
banks of the Lyginus. 

Alexander then resumed his march in the direction 
of the island, and in three days arrived at the point 
where the Danube divided round it. Here he found 
his fleet that had sailed from Byzantium for the pur- 
pose of co-operating with the land army. He em- 
barked a few troops on board the ships, which were 
not numerous, and attempted to make a descent upon 
the upper angle of the island. The ships descended 
the main stream, but the troops failed to make their 
landing good at the point, and if they swerved either 
to the right or to the left, the current, always strong 
below the point of division, hurried them down. To 
these difficulties was added the resistance of the 
enemy, who crowded to the banks and fought bravely 


in defence of their last refuge. The attempt, there- 
bre, failed, and the ships were withdrawn. 
The invader of such a country cannot retreat with 
npunity. The first news of a serious repulse fol- 
jwed by a movement to the rear, converts every bar- 
barian into an eager, resolute, and persevering 
assailant. The Getse, the ancient enemies of Philip, 
were collecting in crowds on the opposite bank. Alex- 
ander finding the island impregnable, determined to 
cross the main stream and attack the Getse. He 
ordered rafts on inflated skins to be constructed, and 
collected the numerous canoes used by the natives 
both for fishing and piratical purposes. In these and 
on board his own fleet he threw across in the course 
of one night, a thousand cavalry and four thousand 

The troops landed in a plain waving deeply with 
standing corn.* The phalanx marched first, and 
grasping their long pikes in the middle, levelled the 
opposing grain and formed a wide road for the cav- 
alry. On reaching the open ground they discovered 
the Getic forces. But these, alarmed by the unex- 
pected boldness of the movement, and astonished at 
Alexander's success in crossing the Danube in one 
night and without constructing a bridge, waited not 
to be attacked, but fled to their city. There they 
hastily placed their wives, families, and more por- 
table valuables upon their numerous horses and re- 
tired into the desert. Their town was captured, and 

* The word refers here to the grass cereals, — wheat, rye, 
barley, — not to Indian corn. 

^Etat. 21.] GETJE— CELT^E. 27 

the booty considerable; for the demand of the 
Greek market had thus early converted these Scy- 
thians into an agricultural and commercial people. 
While the soldiers were employed in conveying the 
plunder to the right bank, Alexander offered sacri- 
fices on the left to Jupiter the Preserver, to Hercules, 
the supposed ancestor of the Scythian nations and to 
the river god who had permitted him to cross his 
mighty stream in safety. The same day witnessed 
the commencement and the termination of the expe- 
ditions, for before night had closed upon them all the 
troops had regained their former camp. 

The Getse at this period were in a depressed state, 
otherwise Alexander might have had cause to repent 
this act of aggression. As it was, the result was for- 
tunate, for all the neighboring tribes sent deputies re- 
questing peace and alliance. Even Syrmus, dazzled 
by the brilliancy of the exploit, renewed the treaty 
which had existed between him and Philip. The 
barbarians on both sides of the Danube had been 
engaged in long and bloody wars with Philip. 
Strabo even hints that in his war with Ateas, King of 
the Getse, Philip had penetrated to the vicinity of the 
Borysthenes. All, therefore, had been taught by ex- 
perience to acknowledge the superiority of the Mace- 
donian arms and discipline, and were now unwilling 
to renew the contest with their former conquerors, 
who, as was proved by the skill and vigor of their 
youthful king, had lost no advantage by the death of 
his father. 

Among other ambassadors came deputies from the 


Celta?, who lived to the north-east of the Adriatic 
gulf. These were probably Scordisci, a Celtic tribe 
of great power and name, who had seized the country 
immediately to the west of the Thracian Triballi. 
Alexander, whose whole heart was fixed upon the Per- 
sian expedition, spared no means likely to conciliate 
his turbulent visitors. The deputies were feasted 
with all the magnificence which camp accommoda- 
tions would allow. The wine circulated freely, and 
in the moment of exhilaration, Alexander asked whom 
or what they most dreaded ? Perhaps the king ex- 
pected a passing compliment to Macedonian valor and 
his own rising reputation. But the Celts were not 
inclined to gratify his vanity at the expense of their 
own self-importance, and proudly answered, " our 
onlv fear is lest the sky should fall on us." From 
some acquaintance with Celtic dialects and their figu- 
rative mode of expression, I venture to interpret the 
above answer as equivalent to the English expression, 
" we fear no enemies but the gods." A bold answer 
never displeased Alexander: he declared the Celta? 
his friends, and formed an alliance w T ith them. He 
added, however, that the Celts w r ere great boasters; 
a character which, from the Scordisci down to the 
Gascons and the modern Celts of Ireland, they mo3t 
undoubtedlv have deserved. 

As Alexander was marching back from the Danube, 
intelligence met him that two Illvrian chiefs, Cleitus 
the son of Bardylis, and Glaucias, Prince of the Tau- 
lantii, were in arms and preparing to assert their 
independence. He had now reached Pseonia, situ- 

iEtat. 21.] P^fEONIANS— LANGARUS. 29 

ated between the rivers ISTestus and Strymon. It had 
formerly been independent, but Philip had annexed 
it to Macedonia. We are informed by Hippocrates, 
that the Pseonians were once a more civilized race 
than the Macedonians. Asteropseus, their chief in 
the Trojan war, is described by Homer as possessing 
singular dexterity in the use of arms. He engaged 
Achilles in single combat, and is the only warrior to 
whom Homer ascribes the honor of wounding that 
redoubtable hero. According to their own account, 
recorded by Herodotus, they were a Teucrian colony. 
The interesting description given of them in his 
Fifth Book, represents them as a fine race of people, 
distinguished for their ingenuity and industrious 
habits. It is to the age of their supremacy that 
Thracian civilization and Linus, Orpheus, and Mu- 
saBus should be referred. The nation was divided 
into several tribes or clans, of whom the Agrians, oc- 
cupying the upper vale of the Strymon and the vicin- 
ity of Mount Panga3us, were at this period the most 

Langarus, the Agrian chief, had been the youthful 
companion of Alexander, and their intimacy had 
ripened into friendship. He now came to receive the 
commands of his sovereign, and to communicate all 
the information which he had gathered respecting the 
enemies' motions. Cleitus and Glaucias had sum- 
moned other Illyrian tribes to their assistance, and 
among them had engaged the Autariatas to invade 
Macedonia from the north, while they entered it from 
the west. It is a curious instance of the migratory 


habits of these tribes, that Alexander had to ask Lan- 
garus who these Autariatse were who threatened to 
attack his flank. The Agrian replied that they were 
the weakest and most insignificant of the Illyrian na- 
tions, and that he would engage to invade their terri- 
tories, and find ample work for them in their own 
country. But in Strabo's time the Autariatse were 
the most powerful tribe in Illyricum, and occupied 
the whole country between the Agrian borders and 
the Danube. Alexander proposed to cement the 
friendship existing between him and the Pseonian 
chief by giving him his sister Cyna in marriage. But 
the premature death of Langarus at the close of the 
campaign, prevented the accomplishment of his 
wishes. The fact, however, is important, as it 
proves that Cyna was already a widow, and that con- 
sequently, Amyntas the son of Perdiccas, had been 
put to death immediately after the assassination of 

The operations of Langarus enabled Alexander to 
direct all his efforts against the western Illyrians. 
Cleitus, his present opponent, was the son of the 
famous bandit Bardylis, who, through the various 
trades of charcoal-burner, robber, warrior, and con- 
queror, had become a powerful prince. He fell in a 
great battle when ninety years old, after witnessing 
the total defeat of his troops by Philip. This suc- 
cess enabled the latter to make the lake, Lychnidus or 
Ochrida, the boundary between him and his restless 
neighbors. Alexander marched up the river Erigon, 
entered Illyricum, and found Cleitus posted advan- 


tageously on the hills above the city of Pellium. 
Alexander encamped on the banks of the river, and 
prepared to attack the town. The Illyrian troops, 
anxious to save their city, partially descended from 
their commanding position, and drew the king's 
attack upon themselves. He routed them, and 
gained the post occupied shortly before by Cleitus 
and his chiefs. A shocking spectacle here awaited 
the victor's eyes. Three young maidens, three 
youths, and three black rams, had been immolated to 
the god of war. Their gloomy superstition taught 
them to believe that the united blood of the thrice 
three victims would form a potent charm of victory, 
or at least secure the lives of the leading chiefs. 

The majority of the enemy had taken refuge in 
Pellium, round which Alexander was preparing to 
draw lines of circumvallation, when the arrival of 
Glaucias, chief of the Taulantii, at the head of a 
numerous army, compelled him to desist. The Mace- 
donians were thus placed in a critical situation, as the 
enemy were far superior in cavalry and light troops, 
and the narrow and rugged ravine in which they were 
engaged did not allow the phalanx to act with effect. 
Their foraging parties were intercepted, and as pro- 
visions could not be procured, a retreat became neces- 
sary. The Illyrians had already occupied the hills 
in the rear, and regarded their success as certain. It 
was not without great difficulty that Alexander extri- 
cated his troops from their dangerous situation. He 
formed his phalanx into a deep column where the 
pass required it, he gradually extended it into line 


where the valley became wider. He protected the 
flanks as well as he could by his light troops, and or- 
dered the phalanx when threatened with a serious 
attack froni either side, to bring their spears later- 
ally to the charge, instead of projecting them to the 
front. By retiring cautiously in this manner, he 
gained the brow of the hill, whence, if he could in 
safety cross the river that flowed at its foot, his army 
would be comparatively secure. 

The descent was considerable, and the enemy on 
both flanks and in the rear were ready to fall on the 
troops while descending and in the act of fording the 
river. To obviate the danger, Alexander himself, 
with the engines attached to the army, first crossed 
and disposed them in the most commanding positions 
on the opposite bank. The phalanx was then ordered 
to descend from the hill and ford the river with the 
greatest rapidity, consistent with the preservation of 
order. The enemy pursued, but the discharge of 
missiles from the engines checked their advance, and 
enabled the Macedonians to pass over in safety. 

Here Alexander halted for two nights, and re- 
freshed his troops after their fatigues. The Illy- 
rians, with the usual confidence of barbarians, did not 
pursue their advantage, but gave themselves up to 
exultation and festivities. Their whole armv en- 
camped loosely on the heights, no regular watches 
were established, no ramparts thrown up, nor fears en- 
tertained that the fugitives might become assailants. 
Alexander observed their negligence, and, as the dan- 


gers of his position would not allow him to be mag- 
nanimous, determined to steal a victory. 

In the silence of the third night, he formed his 
troops into columns, re-passed the river, surprised the 
Illyrians in their tents, routed them in all directions, 
slew the greater part, and pursued the remainder to 
the borders of the Taulantii. Those who did escape 
threw away their arms, and thus incapacitated them- 
selves for future operations. The blow was so severe 
that the Illyrians gave no further molestation to 
Macedonia during Alexander's reign. Cleitus took 
refuge first in Pellium, but set it on fire in despair, 
and retired into the territories of his ally. 

This victory was very seasonable, as important tid- 
ings from the south rendered Alexander's presence 
in that quarter indispensable. Philip, after the bat- 
tle of Chseroneia, had banished the leaders of the 
democracy, and placed a garrison in the Cadmeia, the 
citadel of Thebes. The exiles availing themselves of 
Alexander's absence, returned suddenly, entered 
Thebes by night, surprised Amyntas and Timolaus 
the Macedonian governors, and put them to death. 
These officers suspecting no danger had quitted the 
Cadmeia and resided in the city. With the dawn the 
exiles, supported by their accomplices, summoned the 
Thebans to an assembly. Under the specious names 
of liberty, independence, and deliverance from the 
Macedonian yoke, they exhorted them to revolt. 
They scrupled not to assert that the king had fallen in 
the Illyrian campaign ; and their assertions received 

the more credit, because the partial success of the 


enemy had intercepted all communications between 
Alexander and Greece. 

In an evil hour the assembly listened to the agita- 
tors, and Thebes revolted. The Macedonian garri- 
son was still in the Cadmeia. It was, therefore, en- 
circled with a double line of circumvallation, for the 
sake both of repressing its sallies and starving it into 
submission. The work had scarcely been completed, 
when Antipater at the head of the troops of the con- 
federacy arrived in the neighborhood. 

In the meantime the revolt of Thebes threw all 
Greece into a state of excitement. Demosthenes, 
according to his own confession, had been mainly in- 
strumental in encouraging the exiles to make the 
attempt.* He now exerted all his eloquence to in- 
duce the Athenians to follow their example. Even 
when the assembly had prudently decreed to wait for 

* Demosthenes was one of the most successful political 
agitators in history. He was "a politician with a consistent 
program, but a thoroughly practical politician, to whom it 
seemed well to do evil that good might come." His one 
motive, a truly patriotic one from his standpoint, was hatred 
of the Macedonians. To accomplish his end, he accepted from 
Persia a corruption fund amounting to $350,000. He traveled 
from place to place, wherever there was Macedonian 
sympathy, to check the growing sentiment by the power of 
his eloquence. He scrupled at nothing that would further 
his aims and help his party. Alexander later referred to 
Demosthenes when he upbraided Darius: — "Your agents 
corrupted my friends [by your bribes] and were striving to 
dissolve the league which I had formed among the Greeks." 
It was the influence of Demosthenes that occasioned the dis- 
astrous revolt of Thebes. 

^Etat. 21.] MARCH INTO BCETIA. 35 

further information respecting the reported death of 
Alexander, the orator ceased not to intrigue with the 
neighboring states and to aid the Thebans from his 
own private resources. The Lacedaemonians not in- 
cluded in the confederacy, were known to be anxious 
for the formation of a powerful anti-Macedonian 
league. The court of Persia had already placed large 
sums of money at the disposal of its Grecian agents, 
and active exertions would ensure an ample supply 
of the sinews of war from the treasures of the Great 
King. Still, if we can believe iEschines, the Persian 
agents behaved most culpably on the occasion, as the 
garrison of the Cadmeia, composed of mercenaries, 
offered to deliver the citadel to the Thebans for the 
paltry sum of five talents, which nevertheless, Demos- 
thenes refused to advance. 

Alexander saw that the long-continued labors of his 
father and his own fair prospects of a glorious career 
were likely to prove vain, and that another desperate 
struggle against Persian gold and Grecian valor 
awaited the Macedonian arms. His deep conviction 
of the importance of the crisis may be inferred from 
the rapidity of his movements. In seven days he 
passed from the scene of warfare along a rugged and 
mountainous road to Pellene or Pellinseum on the 
banks of the Peneius. In six more days he reached 
the gates of Thermopylae, and soon after encamped 
at Onchestus, a small town crowning the summit of a 
hill between Thebes and the lake Copias. The de- 
luded Thebans could not believe that the King him- 
self had thus suddenly arrived from the mountains of 


Illyricum. It was only a body of troops sent from 
Macedonia to reinforce Antipater ! Even when the 
truth could no longer be concealed, and Alexander 
was known to be their commander, the ringleaders 
boldly affirmed, that it could not be Alexander the 
King, but the son of Aeropus the Lyncestian. 

Their doubts were not destined to continue long; 
for the king, the next day after joining Antipater, 
approached the city, and encamped near the conse- 
crated grove of Iolaus, the friend and companion of 
Hercules. He hoped the Thebans would repent, and 
acknowledge their error. But so far from doing this, 
they sallied forth in considerable numbers, and slew a 
few Macedonians. Alexander contented himself 
with repulsing the attack. ISText day he marched 
round the city, and encamped on the road leading to 
Athens. In this position he intercepted all communi- 
cation with their well-wishers in the south, and 
was near his own troops in the Cadmeia, from 
the foot of which nothing separated him but the 
cumvallation constructed by the Thebans. His 
wishes and interest were to recover Thebes by gentle 
means. On this day the assembly met within the 
city, and the Macedonian party proposed to send a 
deputation in order to see what grace they could ob- 
tain from the king. But the ringleaders, who, with- 
out a doubt, must have suffered the same fate which 
they had inflicted on Amyntas and Timolaus, per- 
suaded the majority of the citizens that their cause 
was common, and that there was no safety except in 

Mta.t. 21.] ASSAULT ON THEBES. 37 

It should also be remembered, that Grecian cities 
had not in previous wars been liable to immediate 
capture by force of arms. Starvation or treachery 
were the only means of gaining possession of fortified 
towns. All the forces of the Peloponnesians and 
their allies had failed to capture the small city of 
Platsea by open force. They had rolled down the 
forests of Mount Cithgeron, piled them in huge heaps, 
and set them on fire, in hopes of burning out the brave 
little garrison ; but all their efforts failed, and it re- 
quired a blockade of three years before they could gain 
possession of the place. The interval between the 
siege of Tyre by Alexander and the surrender of 
Plata3a does not amount to a century, while a thou- 
sand years, in the gradual progress of human inven- 
tion, are scarcely sufficient to account for the differ- 
ence between the science and enterprise of the two 
besieging parties. Even the Athenians, supposed to 
be more advanced in the art called wall-fighting by 
the Spartans, were ruined, because they could not 
destroy the paltry fort of Deceleia, within half a 
day's march of the Parthenon. Nor were the Mace- 
donians distinguished for their greater success in this 
species of warfare, as Perinthus and Byzantium long 
withstood the utmost efforts of Philip. The The- 
bans, therefore, had no cause to expect the terrible 
fate that so suddenly overtook them. 

According to Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, the fatal 
assault was commenced more from accident than 
design. Percliccas being placed with his brigade of 
the phalanx near the circumvallation, perceived as he 


thought a favorable opportunity, and, without wait- 
ing for orders, made a furious attack on the outer 
line, tore down the defences, and broke into the in- 
closed space. Amyntas, the son of Andromenes, fol- 
lowed his example, and the king seeing his troops thus 
far engaged, ordered the light-armed to enter the 
breach, while he brought his guards and the flower of 
the phalanx to the entrance. Perdiccas, in the mean- 
time, had broken through the inner line of the cir- 
cumvallation, and reached the open space between it 
and the citadel. But in the attack he received a 
severe wound, was carried out fainting, and narrowly 
escaped with life. 

Within the last-described space stood a temple of 
Hercules, with a hollow road leading to it. The bri- 
gade of the wounded general, supported by the light 
troops, drove the Thebans before them as far as this 
temple. Here the latter rallied, raised the Theban 
war-cry, charged the pursuers, slew Eurybates the 
commander of the Cretan archers, and drove the as- 
sailants back into the breach. Alexander allowed his 
broken troops to disengage themselves, and then, with 
his men in close order, attacked their pursuers, car- 
ried all before him, passed the temple of Hercules, 
and reached the city gates together with the retreat- 
ing Thebans. The crush was so great, that the Mace- 
donians made their ground good on the inside before 
the gates could be closed. Others entered the Cad- 
meia, and being joined by the garrison, descended 
into the city by the temple of Amphion. This 
appears to have been situated at the end of the street 

jEtat. 21.J CAPTURE OF THEBES. 39 

leading from the citadel to the town. It was occu- 
pied by Thebans, who defended the post for some 
time. But when the division with Alexander, and 
others who had scaled the walls in various parts, had 
reached the market-place, the Thebans gave up the 
contest in despair. The cavalry galloped through 
the opposite gates, and reached Athens in safety. 
The infantry dispersed and saved themselves as they 
could. But it is not probable that many of them 
escaped. In the army of the confederates there were 
Phocians, Platseans, Thespians, and Orchomenians 
— men whose injuries had been great, and whose ven- 
geance was dreadful. No mercy was shown to age or 
infancy ; the distinctions of sex were disregarded. 
The virgin at the foot of the altar met with the same 
fate as the warrior who refused quarter, and struck 
at the enemy while life remained. The Macedo- 
nians at last succeeded in staying the butchery, and 
saving the surviving inhabitants. 

The ultimate fate of Thebes was then submitted to 
the decision of the Assembly of the Confederates. 
According to the terms of their decree, the Cadmeia 
was occupied by a garrison ; the city was levelled 
with the Aground ; the territory, with the exception of 
lands consecrated to religious purposes, was confis- 
cated, and the captured Thebans, with their wives 
and families, were condemned to be sold by public auc- 
tion. All priests and priestesses, all the friends of 
Philip and Alexander, all families publicly connected 
with the Macedonians, were exempted from the con- 
sequences of this decree. The exceptions are com- 


prehensive enough to embrace every f amily ; a single 
member of which had made the slightest opposition to 
the late revolt. Alexander personally interfered in 
behalf of the descendants of the great lyric poet of 
Thebes : these remained uninjured, both in person 
and fortune. The very house which he had hallowed 
by his residence was left standing among the ruins. 
The greatest of modern poets has amply repaid the 
honors conferred on his brother bard : 

" Lift not thy spear against the muse's bower, 
The great Emathian conqueror bad spare 
The house of Pindarus when temple and tower 
Went to the ground." * 

We involuntarily invest a nation with a species of 
existence independent of the ever-shifting individuals 
that compose it. This abstraction is in ordinary 
thought and language imagined to exist for centuries, 
deserving gratitude in age for the good deeds of 
youth, and obnoxious in decrepitude and feebleness 
for the crimes of its earlier existence. Thus the accu- 
mulated guilt of centuries becomes concentrated in 
one unhappy generation ; and the penalties due to the 
numerous offences of their forefathers, are exacted 
with interest from the individuals then happening to 

* The Macedonian vengeance on Thebes was terrific. Six 
thousand were killed in the capture of the city, and all the 
rest were sold into slavery, the only exceptions being the 
priests and priestesses, the family of Pindar, and those visitors 
who were friendly to Alexander. The city was entirely 
destroyed, only the house of Pindar remaining uninjured in 
the midst of the ruins. 

JBtat. 21.] TERROR AT ATHENS. 41 

This is an instinctive feeling, never to be eradi- 
cated by philosophical reasoning, and has been im- 
planted for wise purposes in the human breast. For 
a community, abstraction as it is, possesses public 
feelings, a sense of right, and a respect for justice and 
mercy, that can never be violated without the most 
destructive reaction upon itself. And a nation that 
has lost its character, loses self-respect, and becomes 
as reckless in its future conduct as the malefactor 
whom public justice has degraded from his place in 

The suddenness of the blow, and the severity with 
which it was followed up, struck terror into the bold- 
est leaders of the Anti-Macedonian party. The 
Arcadians were already on the road to Thebes when 
its fate was announced. It is difficult to account for 
the real cause of their conduct ; some impute it to 
the gift of ten talents which Antipater, previous to 
Alexander's arrival, had sent to them ; others impute 
it to the terror caused by the fall of Thebes. The 
result is not disputed ; the troops, as in many other 
similar cases, brought their leaders to trial, and put 
them to death. 

The Athenians being more deeply implicated in 
the intrigue, felt proportional alarm. The presence 
of the Theban fugitives announced the ruin of Thebes 
to the citizens, then engaged in celebrating the 
Eleusinian mysteries. The holy rites were inter- 
mitted ; Eleusis, its temple, and goddesses forsaken, 
and all the inhabitants, with their more valuable 
efforts, took refuge within the walls of Athens. Nor 


was the alarm causeless, for the Thessalians of the 
confederacy had already decreed to march into Attica, 
■ and Alexander himself was known to be exasperated 
against the Athenian leaders. 

Demosthenes, a great statesman and matchless ora- 
tor, was not a good man. His failings, perhaps his 
vices, were notorious. But his devotion to the 
cause of Athenian supremacy was boundless. His 
zeal, his activity, and, at times, his success in that 
cause, had distinguished him as the champion of the 
Greeks against the encroachments of Philip. When 
the battle of Chseroneia had raised the Macedonians to 
the supremacy, successively possessed by Lacedaemo- 
nians, Athenians, and Thebans, Philip had laid aside 
all animosity, and permitted Athens to enjoy an un- 
qualified independence. But in the mind of Demos- 
thenes the defeat of his measures deeply rankled, and 
he welcomed the tidings of Philip's murder with un- 
manly exultation. He advised the Athenians to 
offer the same sacrifices on the occasion as were cus- 
tomary when intelligence of a victory arrived. He 
went further, he proposed to deify the assassin, and 
erect a temple to his memory. He had loaded the 
youthful king with the most opprobrious epithets, 
and pronounced him a new Margeitis. The name was 
well known in Greece ; for Margeitis was the hero of 
a mock heroic poem, attributed to Homer : the inter- 
est of which depended on the ludicrous situations in 
which the vanity, folly, and cowardice of the hero 
were perpetually involving him. Demosthenes and 
his party had, therefore, much to fear, and little to 


hope from Alexander. Short time, however, was left 
for deliberation when the assembly met and decreed 
that ten citizens should wait on the young king, and 
congratulate him on his safe return from Thrace and 
Illyricum, and on the suppression of the Theban 
revolt. Demosthenes was appointed one of this depu- 
tation, but his heart failed him, and he returned from 
the centre of Mount Cithseron. This fact, mentioned 
by iEschines, proves the truth of Plutarch's assertion, 
that the first deputation consisted of the Anti-Mace- 
donian party, and that Alexander refused to admit 
them to an audience. 

The assembly, therefore, met a second time, and 
Demades, Phocion, iEschines, with several others, 
known friends to the Macedonian interests, were 
deputed to the king. These were received with affa- 
bility and kindness, and were, perhaps, the advisers 
of the letter which they brought from Alexander. 
In this he required the Athenians to surrender eight 
orators, of whom the principal were Demosthenes and 
ITypereides, and two oratorical generals, Chares and 
Charidemus. He proposed to bring them to trial be- 
fore the deputies of the Grecian confederacy. He 
accused them of being the common disturbers of 
Grecian tranquillity, of having caused the Chaero- 
neian war, and its calamities, of being the authors 
of the gross insults offered to his father's memory, and 
to himself. He added that he knew them to be as 
guilty of the Theban revolt as the actual agents. De- 
mosthenes had no courtesy to expect from the Mace- 
donian ; and, even if the natural magnanimity of the 


king should induce him to overlook the insults offered 
to himself, yet filial piety might compel him to take 
vengeance for the indecent outrages offered to his 
father's memory. The orator, therefore, exerted all 
his eloquence to dissuade the assembly from comply- 
ing with the king's demand. He described himself 
and fellow demagogues as the watchful dogs, Alexan- 
der as the wolf, and the Athenians as the simple sheep 
of the fable. His eloquence prevailed, and a third 
deputation was sent, beseeching the king to remit his 
anger against the accused, for the sake of his Athe- 
nian friends. Alexander after the destruction of 
Thebes, could afford to be merciful, and withdrew 
his demand. Charidemus alone was excepted, and 
compelled to retire from Greece.* It is impossible 
to account for the king's inflexibility in his case, with- 
out inferring that he had discovered proofs of his con- 
nection with his father's assassins. The banished 
general withdrew to the Persian court. 

Alexander returned to Macedonia after a cam- 
paign hitherto unrivalled in Grecian history, and 
which alone was sufficient to prove that no equal mili- 
tary genius had yet appeared among men. The inva- 
sion of Thrace, the passage of Mount Hsemus, the 
defeat of the Triballi, the passage of the Danube, the 
victory over the Gets?, the march into Illyricum, the 
defeat first of Cleitus, then of the united troops of 
Cleitus and Glaucias, the rapid descent into Boeotia, 
the more rapid conquest of Thebes, and the settlement 

* It was Charidemus who sent to Demosthenes the news of 
the assassination of Philip, news accepted by the recipient as 
good tidings, 

Mtat. 21.] PIERIA-ORPHEUS. 45 

of all the excited nations of Southern Greece, were all 
crowded into one spring, summer and autumn. The 
winter was spent at ^Eg£e, the primitive capital of 
Macedonia. There, with due pomp and magnifi- 
cence, he offered sacrifices to the Olympian Jove, and 
diversified the festivities of the court with gymnastic 
contests and theatrical representations. 

Not far from the city of Dium, and at the eastern 
foot of Mount Olympus, a monument and statue had 
been erected in memory of the Thracian Orpheus. 
The country was the ancient Pieria, and the natives 
referred to their own Pimpleian spring as the origi- 
nal and favorite resort of the muses. They observed 
with awe that the statue of the father of song con- 
tinued for many days during this winter to be be- 
dewed with apparent perspiration. 

The prodigy was duly reported, the diviners con- 
sulted, and an answer received from the most saga- 
cious of their number, pronouncing the omen pro- 
pitious, and auguring brilliant success to Alexander, 
and proportionate labors to the poets. The inter- 
pretation perhaps would have been more germane 
had the cold sweat of the tuneful bard been attributed 
to an overwhelming anticipation of the frigid con- 
ceits of Choerilus, and the other poetasters of Alex- 
ander's court. 

The omen and its explanation were, however, 
hailed with delight, and sacrifices, with due honors, 
offered to the muses. But they are capricious in 
their favors, and never smiled on the efforts of the 
versifiers of Alexander's great actions. 



To speculate on the condition of the rest of the 
known world at this period would be worse than idle, 
for we know nothing of it. I shall, therefore, confine 
myself to the consideration of the state of the three 
great powers which then predominated on the shores 
of the Mediterranean. These were the Persian, 
Carthaginian, and Grecian nations. 

The Persian dynasty, after a continued series of 
able and magnificent monarchs, had been threatened 
with destruction during the long and feeble reign of 
Artaxerxes Mnemon. In the north the Caducians 
had renounced their allegiance, and baffled the king's 
personal attempt to reduce them to subjection. In 
the south, Egypt had recovered and asserted in arms 
her ancient independence. In the west, the great 
satraps of Asia Minor had openly revolted, and with- 
held the usual tribute from their great sovereign. 
Artaxerxes Ochus, who succeeded to his father's 
throne, had been signally defeated in his attempt 
to recover Egypt, and his misfortunes led to the 
immediate revolt of Phoenicia, Cyprus, and the other 


Mtsit. 21.] PERSIA— CARTHAGE. 47 

maritime powers. But the empire had been saved 
from impending dissolution, by the vigor of the 
eunuch Bagoas, the chief minister of Ochus, and by 
the military talents of his associate, Mentor, a Rho- 
dian soldier of fortune. Phoenicia and Egypt had 
been reconquered, and the western provinces re- 
united to the empire. These were placed under the 
unlimited control of Mentor, while Bagoas super- 
intended the internal government. During the short 
reign of Arses, the successor of Ochus, these ministers, 
freed from domestic troubles, had been enabled to 
direct their attention to Greece. And we have the 
testimony of Demosthenes, that Philip's operations 
against Perinthus and Byzantium had been baffled 
by the mercenary troops of Persia. The lineal de- 
scendants of Darius Nothus ended with Arses, and 
Codomannus, said to have been the surviving repre- 
sentative of Achaemenes by a collateral branch, was 
raised to the throne by Bagoas, and assumed the name 
of Darius. The whole empire acknowledged his 
authority, and the personal courage which he had 
displayed in early youth, induced his subjects to 
expect a vigorous administration from his mature 
years. His resources were ample ; his treasures full, 
and, if he distrusted the valor of his own people, he 
could command the services of the most valiant and 
skilful war v iors then existing. But the death of 
Philip had freed the Persian court from immediate 
terror, and little danger was anticipated from the 
efforts of the boy Alexander. 

The Carthaginian empire had been gradually rising 


in importance ; Northern Africa and Southern Spain 
might be regarded as component parts of it. The 
western islands in the Mediterranean had been sub- 
dued, and the Carthaginians were pressing hard on 
the Sicilian Greeks. But they were not likely to in- 
terfere in the present contest, except as the allies of 
their mother city Tyre. 

The Greeks in Italy were rapidly losing their 
military superiority, and the Lucanians and Sam- 
nites, exercised in continual wars with Home, as yet 
unknown in the history of the world, were threaten- 
ing the degenerate colonists with subjugation. The 
Greeks in Asia and Asiatic islands had long been 
familiarized with Persian despotism, and nothing 
but decided success on the part of their liberators was 
likely to make them active partizans of a cause to 
which they had so often proved victims. Within 
Greece itself there existed a warlike population, ill 
adapted, from want of concert and pecuniary re- 
sources, for a combined and continued exertion; yet 
fully able to resist all foreign aggression, or active 
interference with their liberties. Justin calculates, 
and apparently without exaggeration, that the states 
to the south of Macedonia could, at this period, bring 
two hundred thousand men to the field. 

The Macedonian supremacy depended upon opi- 
nion and the good will of the majority of the con- 
federates. Without this it was a mere name. Gently 
and generously as it was used, the Spartans under 
Agis nearly succeeded in overthrowing it, even while 
Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire appeared 

JEtat. 21.] RESOURCES. 49 

almost certain. And the Athenians, after his death, 
fairly drove Antipater from the field, and blockaded 
him within the walls of Lamia. The seasonable 
arrival of the great general Craterns, with the 
Macedonian veterans, gave the victory at the end of 
the second campaign to Antipater; yet both these 
generals failed to snbdue the more warlike and 
resolute ^Etolians. Without taking these facts into 
consideration it is impossible fairly to estimate the 
difficulties encountered and surmounted by Alex- 

The Macedonian had no resources for the main- 
tenance of the future war except in his own great 
mind. The orators of Southern Greece were loud in 
their assertions, that Philip owed all his success to 
his unsparing profusion of money. With this he 
burst asunder the gates of hostile cities ; with this he 
purchased the services of party leaders. If it were 
so, their virtue must have been cheaply estimated, 
for Philip could not have purchased it at a dear rate. 
He was poor at the commencement of his reign, and 
poorer at his death. Alexander at his accession 
found sixty talents* in his treasury, and a few gold 

* The word talent referred to weight, not to a specific coin. 
It originated in Babylon, but spread through Assyria, Pheni- 
cia, Greece, and other countries, differing considerably in 
value. The Attic talent averaged about the value of $1,200, 
while the Assyrian talent is estimated at from $1,550 to $2,000, 
the average being about $1,700. If the talent be estimated at 
the value of $1,700 in the narratives of Alexander, the reader 
will not go far astray. 

The purchasing power of money is as important as th« 


and silver cups in the palace. But the debts 
amounted to five hundred talents and before he could 
move from Macedonia he had to mortgage the royal 
domains for eight hundred more. 

Nearly two hundred years had elapsed since the 
commencement of the wars between Greece and 
Persia ; it would, therefore, be folly to say that they 
were ignorant of each other's mode of warfare, or 
that one party enjoyed any advantage over the other 
with respect to arms and discipline. The Persians 
could command the services of the best tacticians, 
armorers, engineers, and soldiers of Greece ; and it is 
a curious fact that Alexander had to combat full fifty 
thousand Greeks, before he entered Svria. 

The infantry of the invading army, according to 
the best authorities, consisted of twelve thousand 
Macedonians, seven thousand confederates, five 
thousand mercenary Greeks, the same number of 
Thracians, Triballians, and Illyrians, and one thou- 
sand Agrians. The cavalry amounted to fifteen 
hundred Macedonians, fifteen hundred Thessalians, 
nine hundred Thracians and Preonians, and six 
hundred confederates. The whole force, therefore, 
was thirty thousand infantry, and four thousand 
five hundred cavalry. 

fineness of the gold. Gold was relatively cheaper as com- 
pared with silver in ancient times than to-day, the ratio 
between the two being about 13 1-3 to 1. The day's wages of 
the laborer was a mere pittance as compared with that of 
modern times ; but it must on the other hand be remembered 
that in a primitive state of society and in a semi-tropical 
climate, the wants of the laborer were relatively few and 





In - the spring of the year B. C. 334, Alexander 
placed himself at the head of his assembled forces, 
and marched to Amphipolis. Passing by the cities 
Abdera and Maroneia, he crossed, first, the Hebrus, 
and then the Melas. On arriving at Sestus he found 
his fleet, consisting of one hundred and sixty triremes, 
already assembled. Parmenio was ordered to super- 
intend the passage of the troops, while Alexander 
indulged his youthful feelings of enthusiasm and 
poetry in performing pilgrimages to the shrines con- 
secrated by the genius of Homer. At the southern 
point of the Thracian Chersonese was the tomb of 
Protesilaus.* There Alexander sacrificed to the 
manes of the hero who had first set his foot on the 
hostile shore of Asia, and besought his influence to 
save him whose intentions were the same from a 
similar fate. He then embarked, and steered for the 
Achaean harbor. On gaining the middle of the 

* Protesilaus, a leader of Thessalian forces against Troy, 
was the first to leap from the vessel upon Trojan soil, and the 
first to suffer death, being slain, according to tradition, by 



Hellespont, a bull, the Homeric sacrifice to Neptune, 
was offered to the Deities of the sea, and due libations 
made from golden cups. With his own hand he 
steered the vessel, and when it neared the shore, was 
the first to spring on Asiatic ground. He was in 
complete armor, and brandished his spear, but there 
was no Hector to encounter the new Protesilaus, nor 
a Laodameia * to lament him had he fallen. The in- 
habitants of the Troas were peaceful ^Eolians, more 
inclined to remain neutral spectators of the contest, 
than to side actively with either party. 

If Achilles had his Patroclus, Alexander had his 
Hephsestion, a young nobleman of Pella ; an early 
partiality for whom had ripened into a steady friend- 
ship, equally honorable to both parties. The tumuli 
of the two Homeric friends were still conspicuous; 
while, therefore, Alexander duly honored the monu- 
mental pillar of Achilles, Hephsestion offered gar- 
lands and sacrifices at that of Patroclus. 

Thence Alexander ascended to the sacred and 
storm-exposed city of Priam, worshipped in the 
temple of the Ilian Minerva, and hung his own arms 
as a votive offering on the walls. In exchange he 
took down a suit of armor said to have been worn by 
one of the Homeric heroes. The shield, of great size 
and strength, might have graced the left arm of the 
Telamonian Ajax, and in all his after fields was 
borne before Alexander by one of his armor-bearers. 

* The affection of Laodameia for her husband Protesilaus is 
famous. Woodsworth has a beautiful poem upon the legend 
of Laodameia. 

Mtzt. 22.] PERSIAN LEADERS. 53 

The venerable Priam was not forgotten and the 
descendant of Pyrrhus sought by sacrifices to avert 
the anger of the royal shade. Would that he had 
also honored the tomb of the amiable and patriotic 
Hector! But the representative of Achilles had no 
sympathy to spare for the slayer of Patroclus. 

He turned with scorn from the lyre of Paris, 
accustomed to guide the voices of feeble women, but 
eagerly demanded a sight of the harp with which 
Achilles had soothed his soul and sung the glorious 
deeds of heroes. 

The Troad is almost a peninsula, placed between 
the Gulf of Adramyttium, on the south, and the Gulf 
of Cyzicus, on the north. In the intermediate space 
rises Mount Ida, stretching westward to Cape Lectus 
or Baba, and eastward as far as the vale of the Rhyn- 
dacus. The common road, leading from the Troad 
to the south-eastern provinces, crossed the western 
extremity of Mount Ida, and passed through Antan- 
drus and Adramyttium. But Alexander was not 
allowed to choose his road. 

The Persian satraps had been evidently taken by 
surprise by the rapid movements of the invader. 
They had thus, without making a single attempt to 
molest the passage, allowed him with a far inferior 
fleet to convey his troops into Asia. Receiving in- 
telligence that they were rapidly collecting their 
forces at Zeleia, on the Propontis, he determined to 
march in that direction. 

The army under the command of Parmenio had 
advanced from Abydos to Arisba, where the king 


joined it. Next day he advanced to Percote, and the 
day after, leaving Lampsacus on the left, encamped 
on the banks of the Practius. This river, flowing 
down from Mount Ida, enters the northern part of the 
Hellespont. It bears no name on modern maps, but 
Percote and Lampsacus still exist as Bergase and 
Lamsaki, Colonas and Hermotus, the next stations, 
are both obscure. The first was inland from Lamp- 
sacus, and was, perhaps, connected with the tomb of 
Memnon, mentioned by Strabo. 

During this advance the Persian camp became the 
scene of much discussion. The death or removal of 
Mentor had left the satraps without a commander-in- 
chief. His brother Memnon was present, but merely 
as an auxiliary, not entrusted with the command 
even of the Greek mercenaries. Spithridates, the 
satrap of Lydia and Ionia, was the highest officer, 
but does not appear to have possessed more authority 
than Arsites, the governor of the Hellespontian 
Phrygia, the scene of action. Pour other Persians, 
Arsames, Bheomithres, Petenes, and Niphates, are 
mentioned by Arrian as equal in authority to Spith- 
ridates and Arsites. A council of war was held, to 
which Memnon was admitted. His advice was to 
burn and lay waste the country, to avoid a battle, 
and in the words of a modern Persian, " to encircle 
the enemy with a desert." But Arsites declared that 
he would not permit a single habitation entrusted to 
his care to be wilfullv destroved. As Alexander's 
advance left no alternative between risking a battle 
and leaving Ionia and Lydia open to an invader, the 

^Etat. 22.] PARMENIO'S ADVICE. 55 

spirited resolution of Arsites was more in accordance 
with the feelings of the satraps than the cautious 
advice of Memnon. They, therefore, determined to 
advance and contest the passage of the Granicus. 
Strabo writes that the Granicus, the iEsipus, and the 
Scamander rise from the same part of Mount Ida, and 
that a circle of twenty stadia would enclose the three 
sources. The Granicus must, therefore, from the 
length of its course, be a considerable river, and in 
spring, when increased by the melting snows of Mount 
Ida, present a formidable appearance. Behind this 
natural barrier the Persians drew up their forces. 

On advancing from Hermotus, Alexander had 
received the submission of the city of Priapus, thus 
named from the worship of the Hellespontian god. 
The army was preceded by strong reconnoitering 
parties, composed of the Prodromi, employed to exam- 
ine the roads and report obstacles. The main body 
was not far from the Granicus, when the scouts re- 
turned and announced the position of the enemy on 
the opposite bank. Alexander began immediately 
to form his line and prepare for battle, when Par- 
menio, whose great reputation in war gave him 
weight and influence, attempted to check the eagerness 
of his youthful sovereign by the following observa- 
tions : 

" It appears advisable to encamp for the present 
on the river's side as we are. For the enemy, far 
inferior in infantry, will not in my opinion dare to 
spend the night in our vicinity ; so that we may cross 
with ease in the morning, before their troops can be 


formed and brought to oppose us. But the attempt 
at present appears dangerous, because we cannot lead 
our army in line through the river, as many parts of 
it are evidently deep, and the banks are, as you see, 
very high, and in some places precipitous. When, 
therefore, our men reach the opposite bank in dis- 
order and in separate columns, they will be exposed 
to the attacks of the enemy's cavalry drawn up in 
line. Should this our first attempt prove a failure, 
the immediate consequences must prove disastrous, 
and the final issue of the contest be seriously af- 

Alexander replied — 

" I am aware of all this, Parmenio, but feel 
ashamed, after crossing the Hellespont without diffi- 
culty, to allow this petty stream to prevent us from 
fording it as we are. I regard such conduct as incon- 
sistent with the glory of the Macedonians, and my 
own eagerness to encounter dangers. I feel also that 
the Persians, if they do not instantly suffer evils 
correspondent to their fears, will recover their cour- 
age, as being able to face the Macedonians on the 
field of battle." 

Had the passage of the Granicus been the sole 
object, the veteran general's proposition was no doubt 
the safest. For we know, from the writings of 
Xenophon, that a Persian army, consisting princi- 
pally of cavalry, could not safely encamp near an 
enemy superior in infantry. But Alexander felt the 
necessity of making a strong impression, and refused 
to steal an advantage, as much from a chivalrous irn- 

^Etat. 22.] ORDER OF BATTLE. 57 

pulse, as from a well-grounded belief that one field 
fairly and openly won is, in its ultimate effects, 
worth ten advantages attained by stealth, stratagem, 
or treachery. 

Immediately above the right bank of the Granicus 
there was a step, or narrow strip of level ground, 
extending from the river to the foot of a long line, 
of low hills, running parallel with the stream. The 
Persian cavalry, 20,000 in number, were drawn up in 
line on this step. The hills in their rear were crowned 
by an equal number of Greek mercenaries under the 
command of Omares, a Persian. 

The Macedonian phalanx was composed of eight 
brigades, containing 2000 men each, and commanded 
by eight generals of equal rank. These could act 
separately or conjointly, as every brigade was com- 
plete in itself. It was divided into regiments of 
1000 each, commanded by their own colonels. Each 
regiment was composed of two battalions of 500 each, 
officered in the same manner. Each battalion was 
subdivided into eight companies, led by their own 
captains. Eor the purpose of command the Mace- 
donian army was divided into two wings. Alex- 
ander always commanded the extreme right, and the 
most confidential officer the extreme left. The bri- 
gades of the phalanx were attached arbitrarily either 
to the right or the left wing. On the present occa- 
sion, the right wing consisted of the Companion 
cavalry, the Agrian infantry, and the archers under 
Philotas, the heavy lancers, and the Preonians under 
Amyntas, the son of Arrhabseus, and the royal foot 


guards, also honored with the title of Companions, 
under Nicanor, the son of Parmenio. Next to him 
were drawn up five brigades of the phalanx com- 
manded successively by Perdiccas, Ccenus, Craterus, 
Amyntas, the son of Andromenes, and Philip, the son 
of Amvntas. All were under the immediate com- 


mand of Alexander. 

On the extreme left were posted the Thessalian 
cavalry commanded by Calas, the son of Harpalus, 
the confederate cavalry under Philip, the son of 
Menelaus, and the Thracians under Agathon. Next 
to him were the three remaining brigades of the 
phalanx commanded in the order of their names, by 
another Craterus, Meleager, and a third Philip, whose 
brigade touched that of his namesake the son of 
Amyntas. All these were under Parmenio's orders. 

As soon as the Persians perceived that Alexander 
had placed himself at the head of the Companion 
cavalry,* on the extreme right, they strengthened 
their own left with denser masses of horse. The 
king was easily recognized by the splendor of his 
arms, the white plume in his helmet, his gorgeous 
shield and polished cuirass, and by the magnificent 
and dazzling equipments of his immediate retinue. 
Both armies halted on the very brink of the river, 
and surveyed each other for some time. A deep 
silence prevailed during this moment of hesitation 
and doubt. Then Alexander mounted the gallant 
charger destined to carry him triumphant over so 

* The Companion cavalry, so often mentioned in this book, 
was the mounted guard — a body of great efficiency. 

-flEtat. 22.] BATTLE OF THE GRANICUS. 59 

many fields and briefly exhorted his immediate com- 
panions to follow him and prove themselves good 

Ptolemy, the son of Philip, whose right it was on 
that day to lead the attack, first entered the river. 
He was supported by Amyntas, the son of Arrha- 
bteus, and Socrates, who led forward the heavy lan- 
cers, the Pseonians, the Prodromi, and one brigade of 
infantry. Then the whole right wing was led by 
Alexander into the current amidst the sound of trum- 
pets and the loud paeans of the troops. 

Amyntas, Ptolemy, and Socrates, soon reached the 
opposite bank, but struggled in vain to make their 
landing good, as the Persians, not content with show- 
ering their missiles from the upper ground, rode 
down and combated the Macedonians in the water. 
As Memnon and his sons, together with the flower of 
the Persian cavalry, were engaged in this quarter, 
they succeeded either in cutting down this vanguard 
or driving it back on Alexander, who was now ad- 
vancing. He, himself, with the Companion cavalry, 
charged where he saw the densest mass and the great- 
est number of Persian chiefs assembled. The battle 
was more of a personal struggle between individuals 
than regular charges of cavalry. In the shock Alex- 
ander shivered his lance to pieces and called upon 
Aretus, his chief groom, to furnish him with another. 
The same misfortune had happened to him, although 
he continued fighting bravely with the broken stump. 
Holding this up, he desired his sovereign to ask some 
one else. Demaratus, the Corinthian, one of the 


Companions, then lent him his. The superior 
strength and skill of the Macedonians were now 
manifest, and the Persian javelins and scimetars 
were found ineffectual against the Macedonian lance, 
the shaft of which was made of tough cornel wood. 
The efforts of the cavalry drove the Persians from 
the hank, and Alexander, with the head of the column, 
gained the level step between the river and the moun- 

There he was instantly marked out by Mithri- 
dates, the son-in-law of Darius, who dashed at him 
at the head of a troop of horse drawn up in the form 
of a wedge, with a very obtuse angle. As Mithri- 
dates was in front, Alexander did not wait the 
attack, but spurred his horse forwards, and directing 
his lance against the face of his antagonist, slew him 
on the spot. While he was disengaging his weapon, 
Rhoesaces, another Persian nobleman, rode up, and 
with his sword struck off a part of the king's plume 
and helmet : Alexander pierced his breast through the 
corslet, and brought him also to the ground. But this 
could hardly have been done without wheeling round 
and re-charging. While he was engaged in this sec- 
ond single combat Spithridates, the Ionian satrap, 
•came behind him and had raised his scimetar to strike 
a blow, when his purpose was anticipated by Cleitus, 
the son of Dropidas, who, with one tremendous stroke, 
severed the Persian's shoulder from his body. 

Cleitus was the brother of Larnice, the nurse of 
Alexander, and was captain of the royal troop of the 
Companion cavalry, to which in an especial manner 


the safety of the king's person was entrusted. On this 
occasion he was at his post and did his duty. We 
have no reason to suppose that the light scimetar of 
Spithridates would have made a greater impression 
on the proof armor of Alexander than a similar wea- 
pon in the hand of Rhocsaces. But what would have 
been thought of the royal guards, had they allowed 
their sovereign, after bringing down the two foremost 
champions of the enemy, to be slain by the third ? 

On equal ground the Persians failed to withstand 
the charge of the Macedonian lances, and their line 
gave way, first at the point where Alexander himself 
was engaged, finally in all directions. For Parmenio 
and the Thessalian and confederate cavalry had com- 
pletely defeated the Persian right wing. The rout 
was therefore general, but the actual loss of the Per- 
sians was not great, as there was no pursuit. Among 
the thousand horsemen, who fell on the field, were, 
in addition to the chiefs before mentioned, ISTiphates, 
Petenes, Mithrobarzanes, governor of Cappadocia, 
Arbupales, son of Darius Artaxerxes, and Pharnaces, 
the brother of the queen. The surviving leaders, 
among whom was Memnon, fled disgracefully, and 
left the Grecian mercenaries to their fate. These had 
remained in their position, idle spectators of the short 
but desperate contest which in a few minutes had 
dispelled the delusion that Greece could never fur- 
nish a cavalry equal to the Persian. The phalanx 
was not engaged ; and the defeat of 20,000 Persian 
horse was achieved by the light troope and cavalry 


But as the mercenaries under Omares still kept 
their ground, the phalanx was brought up to attack 
them in front, while Alexander and Parmenio with 
their cavalry assailed them on both flanks. Omares 
fell at his post, and the whole body, with the 
exception of 2,000 prisoners, was cut to pieces. 
These saved their lives by throwing themselves on 
the ground and permitting the terrible phalanx to 
march over their bodies. Their lives were spared, 
but they were loaded with chains, and sent to till the 
ground in Macedonia. It is difficult to sympathize 
with men who for daily pay could be thus brought 
to array themselves against their fellow countrymen, 
and to fight the battles of barbarians against the cap- 
tain-general of Greece.* 

Of the Macedonians, there fell twenty-five of the 
Companion cavalry, sixty other horsemen, and thirty 
foot soldiers. It must not be imagined that no more 
fell, but it is clear that the generals who wrote the 
account of Alexander's campaigns, mentioned the loss 
of only the native born Macedonians. The fallen 

' * The brilliance of this victory may be seen in the disparity 
in the number of the losses. Alexander's total force numbered 
35,000 ; the opposing army numbered 40,000 in all, 20.000 
being Persian cavalry, and 20,000 being Greek mercenaries. 
Alexander's total loss was 115 killed. Of the 20,000 Persian 
cavalry, 1,000 were slain, while the force of Greek mercenaries 
in the army of Darius was entirely destroyed. Tlfe* Persian 
loss therefore amounted to more than one half .their army. 
The significance of the victory was out of all -proportion to 
the numbers engaged, for it made Alexander master of the 
whole of Asia Minor north of the Taurus. 


were all buried on the field of battle, clad in their 
armor, the noblest shroud, according to Xenophon, 
for a slain warrior. The twenty-five Companions 
were honored with monumental statues of bronze, 
the workmanship of Lysippus, the favorite sculptor 
of Alexander. They were erected at Dium, in Mace- 
donia, where they remained until the rapacious Ro- 
mans carried them away to Italy. 

The Persian leaders were also buried with due hon- 
ors, as well as the mercenary Greeks who had fallen 
in a bad cause. 

The king was particular in his attentions to the 
wounded ; he visited every individual, examined his 
wounds, and by asking how, and in what service he 
had received them, gave every man an opportunity of 
recounting and perhaps of exaggerating his deeds. 

Alexander selected 300 panoplies as an offering 
for the Athenian Minerva. They were sent to 
Athens, and suspended in the Parthenon, with the 
following inscription : 

" Alexander, the son of Philip, and the Greeks, 
except the Lacedaemonians, these, from the barba- 
rians inhabiting Asia." 

This is generally regarded as a compliment to the 
Athenians : — if so, it was intended for the Athe- 
nians of former days, not for the contemporaries of 
Demosthenes ; for no distinction was made between 
the Athenians captured in the enemy's ranks and the 
prisoners belonging to other states. 

From the very beginning Alexander regarded Asia 
as his own, and the Asiatics as his subjects. His 


first admonition to bis soldiers was, to spare their 
own. There occur no instances of plunder, no sys- 
tem of devastation, similar to that practiced by 
Agesilaus and described by Xenophon. The only 
2hange was to substitute a Macedonian instead of a 
Persian satrap. Acting on this principle, he ap- 
pointed Galas, the son of Harpalus, governor of the 
Hellespontian Phrygia, and ordered him to exact no 
more from the provincials than the regular revenue 
payable to Darius. 

The chief city of the satrap was Dascylium, situ- 
ated on the Propontis, to the east of the Rhyndacus. 
Parmenio was sent forward, and took possession of it 
without resistance. Alexander himself visited Zeleia, 
a Homeric city on the banks of the " dark flowing 
waters ' of the ^Esepus. The river is now called 
Biga, and the town of the same name cannot be far 
from the site of the ancient Zeleia. 

Alexander might have marched up the vale of the 
Rhyndacus, surmounted the pass called by the Turks, 
the Iron Gate, and descended into the plain of the 
Caicus. But he returned to Ilium, as distinctly men- 
tioned bv Strabo, and marched into Southern Asia 
by the more frequented road through Antandrus, 
Adramyttium, Pergamus, and Thyateira. 

The intervening towns offered no resistance, and 
when within eight miles of Sardes, he was met by a 
deputation, headed by the principal citizens and 
accompanied by Mithrenes, the Persian governor of 
the citadel. The Lydians, once a warlike and power- 
ful nation, had, since their subjugation by Cyrus tbt 

iEtat. 22.] SARDES— LYDIANS. 65 

Elder, been Persian tributaries for nearly 200 years. 
The yoke was, perhaps, not burdensome, but still 
their happiness must have depended on the character 
of their satrap, at whose mercy the policy of the Per- 
sian government completely placed them. But their 
recollections of ancient glory and independence still 
remained. Men in their situation seldom have an 
opportunity of testifying their love of the latter ex- 
cept by changing their masters. And such a change, 
if unattended with danger, is always welcomed. The 
deputation presented the keys of the Lydian capital 
to the descendant of Hercules, and had they known 
the weak side of their new master, would have ex- 
pressed their joy at returning under the ITeracleid 
dominion, after the long continued usurpation of the 
Mermnadrc and Achsemenidrc. 

Mithrenes, who came to surrender the citadel and 
the treasures entrusted to his care, was a traitor — 
perhaps a weak man, paralyzed by the defeat and 
death of Spithridates, his superior, and overcome by 
the prayers of the Sardians. But treason had been 
busy in the western provinces, and it appears unac- 
countable that so many of the connections of Darius 
should have been without command in the Persian 
camp, except we suppose that the satraps had dis- 
owned their authority, and fought the battle of the 
Granicus in defence of their own governments, and 
not of the empire. 

Whatever were the motives of Mithrenes, his act 

was base and fatal to his country. The citadel of 

Sardes was the most important fortress in Western 


Asia, and the surrender of it at this critical period 
furnished Alexander with money, of which he was 
greatly in need, and enabled him to pursue Memnon, 
the only antagonist in Asia Minor from whom he had 
anything to dread. 

Alexander encamped on the banks of the Hermus, 
whence he issued a decree, by which all their laws, 
rights, and privileges, as existing before the Persian 
conquest, were restored to the Lydians. Their nomi- 
nal independence was also proclaimed, and hailed 
with as much applause as if it had been real. He 
then ascended to the Sardian citadel, impregnable 
from its natural position. A lofty mountain, trian- 
gular in figure, rises abruptly from the plain of the 
Hermus. A deep ravine, rendering the southern side 
a perpendicular precipice, separates it from the 
frowning masses of Mount Tmolus. The summit of 
this isolated rock was crowned by the towers and 
palace of the Lydian monarchs. According to a long- 
cherished tradition, an oracle had forewarned an 
ancient king of Lydia, that if he carried his son Leon, 
or as some translate it, the Lion, his son, round the 
citadel, it would always remain impregnable. He 
obeyed partially, but thought it useless to go round 
the precipitous side, which nature itself had appar- 
ently rendered impregnable. Alexander was struck 
with the boldness of the situation and extent of view 
from the summit. He proposed to occupy the site of 
the Lydian palace with a splendid temple of the 
Olympian Jupiter — but did not live to execute his 
plan. The Argives of the army, apparently in com- 


pliment to the Heracleid connection, were left to 
garrison the citadel. 

From Sardes Alexander marched to Ephesus. 
Here he came first in contact with the aristocratic 
and democratic factions, which for the two preceding 
centuries had destroyed the happiness and tranquil- 
lity of every Grecian city of consequence. The aris- 
tocratic party had always been patronized by Persia, 
and Memnon had lately overthrown the existing 
democracy at Ephesus, and committed the powers of 
government to the opposite party. But the news of 
the victory at the Granicus, followed by the rumored 
approach of Alexander, caused the Persians to retire 
to Miletus. With them also retired Amyntas, the 
son of Antiochus, and other Macedonian exiles, who 
had made Ephesus their city of refuge. 

This flight restored the supremacy to the democra- 
tic faction, which proceeded with more violence than 
justice to take vengeance on its opponents. Some of 
the aristocratic leaders were immediately stoned to 
death, and a general massacre was threatened, when 
Alexander arrived and compelled his friends to be 
satisfied with a bloodless supremacy. Arrian writes, 
that this active interference of the king in defence of 
the adverse party, gave him more immediate renown 
than any other of his deeds in Asia Minor. The con- 
duct of the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, the two 
^reat patrons of the opposite factions, had been so 
different on similar occasions, that we need not be 
surprised at the natural effect of Alexander's more 
merciful and judicious conduct. 


The temple of Ephesus, destroyed by fire on the 
night of his birth, was in the act of being rebuilt. He 
assigned the revenues, paid by the city to the great 
king, to the promotion of the work. In after times 
he offered to bear the whole expense, great as it must 
have been, on condition of having his name alone 
inscribed on the building. The Ephesians prettily 
evaded the offer, by saying " that it did not become 
one god to dedicate a temple to another." 

Alexander paid due honors to the great Diana of 
the Ephesians. The misshapen statue," the heaven- 
fallen idol was carried in procession, while he, at the 
head of his troops, formed a part of the pageantry. 
The disciple of Aristotle was a Polytheist in the 
most extensive sense of the word, and, could bow his 
head with equal reverence in Grecian, Tyrian, ^Egyp- 
tian, and Assyrian temples. 

From Ephesus Alexander marched f to Miletus, the 

* The image of the Ephesian Diana, with her multiplicity 
of breasts to signify fertility, is one of the most revolting of 
idols. It is strange that so hideous an image was enshrined 
in so beautiful a temple. 

f Between Ephesus and Miletus lay the Ionic city of Priene, 
a city not mentioned in this narrative, but important to 
modern students of the period. The inhabitants of this city, 
grateful for their release from the yoke of the Persian Darius, 
gave tangible evidence of their joy by improving or rebuild- 
ing, the city on a magnificent scale. It was without doubt a 
type of the large number of cities built by Alexander, or 
under his patronage. This city itself early fell into disuse 
and ruin by reason of the disappearance of the fine harbor, 
but the ruins themselves remained undisturbed through many 
centuries. They were first visited by European antiquarians 


Ionian capital, celebrated for its wealth, naval power, 
and colonies. The governor had promised to give up 
the city without resistance, but the arrival of the 
Persian fleet, far superior to the Macedonian, had 
induced him to retract his word. 

Miletus was situated at the mouth of the Msean- 
der, which then emptied its waters into the upper end 
of a considerable creek. This is now filled up, and 
the fair harbor of Miletus converted into a fertile 
plain. This is a well known fact, and often paral- 
leled, for the undisturbed water of a long creek acted 
upon by an operative river, will necessarily become 
firm land. Nor does this admission contradict the 
observations formerly made on this subject, as they 
referred more to the action of rivers, the mouths of 
ft'hieh have reached the open sea. 

The entrance to the Milesian harbor was narrow, 
but the Macedonian fleet had occupied it previous to 
the arrival of the Persians. The Milesians, thus 
blockaded by sea and land, intimated to Alexander 
their wish to be neutral, and their willingness to re- 
ceive the Persian as well as the Macedonian fleet into 

in 1765 : and a century later, in 1868, the temple was excavated. 
It bore this inscription : — 


In the year I89S the work of excavating (ho city was resumed 
on a thorough scale, and the result is in interest second 
only to thai of Pompeii. An excellent account of the ruins, 
with ill- be found in the Century for 'May, 1C01, 

from which t 1 •• rea I r may '. r "t a clear and accurate idea cf 
the Deauty and magnificence of Alexander's Asiatic cities. 


the harbor. As they had not the power to enforce 
their proposed system of neutrality, their offer could 
be regarded only as an insult. As such Alexander 
viewed it, and told the deputy to depart instantly and 
warn his fellow citizens to prepare for an assault. 
The deed followed the word, and Miletus was carried 
by storm. Three hundred Greek mercenaries, partly 
by swimming, partly by floating on their broad 
shields, reached a small island in the harbor. Alex- 
ander admiring their gallantry, spared their lives, 
and incorporated them with his own troops. 

Although the Macedonian fleet had prevented the 
Persians from entering the harbor, it was not strong 
enough to face the enemy on the open sea. Hence its 
future motions became a subject of grave delibera- 
tion. Parmenio proposed the embarkation of a 
chosen body of the land forces, and a sudden attack 
on the enemy's fleet. But Alexander, whose ex- 
hausted exchequer severely felt the na^ r al expenses, 
was for immediately dismantling it. He refused to 
risk his gallant soldiers in a contest on the unsteady 
and tottering waves, where the superior skill of the 
Phoenician and Cyprian sailors might render bravery 
and military discipline unavailing. 

Much might be said in favor of both propositions, 
and the arguments of the veteran general and of the 
monarch are equally weighty. But it may surprise 
a modern reader to find that, either from policy or 
faith, the question mainly turned on the right inter- 
pretation of an omen. An eagle had by chance 
perched on a Macedonian vessel, which had been 


drawn ashore. Parmenio argued that as the bird's 
face was directed seaward, a naval victory was clearly 
indicated. Alexander, on the contrary, contended 
that as the ship on which the eagle had perched was 
on shore, the fair inference was that they were to 
obtain the victory by watching the enemy's motions 
from the shore, and preventing them from landing 
in any spot. His reasoning prevailed in the council, 
and the fleet was laid up in the harbor of Miletus. 
Parmenio was sent, at the head of a strong force, to 
receive the submission of the great cities Magnesia 
and Tralles, in the vale of the Meander; and 
Alexander himself marched along the coast to 

Darius, on receiving intelligence of the defeat at 
the Granicus, and of the death of so many satraps, 
appointed Memnon his lieutenant-general, with un- 
limited power of action in Lower Asia and its mari- 
time dependencies. Memnon had collected a fleet of 
four hundred triremes, with which he prepared to 
counteract the projects of Alexander. The rapidity 
of the latter's movements had wrested Ionia from the 
empire ; but every effort was made for the preserva- 
tion of Caria. Halicarnassus, its capital, situated 
on the south-western shore of the Ceramic gulf, was 
carefully fortified and provisioned. It was guarded 
by two citadels, one called by Strabo the island-fort, 
and the other Salmacis, celebrated for the supposed 
effeminating qualities of its fountain. The island 
fortress is now united to the continent, and continues, 
under the name of Boodroom, to be the strongest 


place on that coast. The city itself was protected on 
the land side by an immense ditch, thirty cubits wide 
and fifteen deep. The besiegers had to fill this, 
before they could bring their battering engines to 
bear on the wall. Menmon had abundance of troops, 
of all denominations and races. Xumerous sallies 
took place, in one of which Xeoptolemus, the son of 
Arrhaba?us, a Macedonian exile of high rank, fell, 
while bearing arms against his country. In another 
skirmish the Persians had become masters of the 
bodies of some Macedonian soldiers, which, according 
to the laws of Grecian warfare, Alexander demanded 
by herald, for the purpose of burial. Diodorus writes 
that Memnon complied with the request, in opposi- 
tion to the advice of two Athenian leaders, Ephialtes 
and Thrasvbulus. Mitford from this draws an infer- 
ence to prove the inhuman ferocity of the Demosthe- 
nean party : but this, like many other of his deduc- 
tions, is unfair. 

Among the southern Greeks no skirmish, however 
trifling, took place that was not followed by the erec- 
tion of a trophy. As both parties were bound to bury 
their dead, the inability to do this without requesting 
the leave of the opposite party, was the test of defeat, 
and a trophy erected under such circumstances was 
regarded legitimate, and consequently sacred. But 
the Macedonians had long ceased to raise trophies, 
and scrupled not to destroy them if erected. The fair 
inference therefore from the above-mentioned fact is, 
that the Athenian generals were unwilling to restore 
the bodies unless Alexander would allow them to raise 

-ffitat. 22.] EPHIALTES— MEMNON. 73 

a trophy — a circumstance which, as he did not under- 
stand trifling in war, he was not likely to approve of. 

As the works of the besiegers were advancing, the 
Athenian, Ephialtes, at the head of a chosen body of 
troops, and supported by Memnon, made a bold at- 
tempt to bum the works and the engines. A regular 
battle took place, in which the assailants were, not 
without difficulty, driven back. The Macedonians 
lost nearly as many men as at the battle of the Grani- 
cus. Among others fell Ptolemy, a general of the 
body guard ; Clearchus, commander of the archers ; 
and Addams, a chiliarch or colonel of a regiment. 
The Persians, regarding the city as no longer tenable, 
set it on fire, and retired to the citadels. As these 
appeared impregnable a body of troops was left to 
observe and blockade them. 

The city was the capital of a race of princes, who, 
in subjection to Persia, had long governed Caria. 
Hecatomnus, in the preceding generation, had left 
three sons and two daughters. According to a prac- 
tice common among the royal families in Asia, Mau- 
solus, the eldest brother, had married Artemisia, the 
elder sister, who, by a law peculiar to Caria, was en- 
titled to the throne if she survived her husband. She 
became a widow, and tr--tified her respect for his 
memory by the erection of the splendid and tasteful 
monument that has given the name of Mausoleum to 
all similar structures.* Grief soon destroyed her, 

* The tomb of iVfan^oln^. which was erected by his widow 
at Halicarnaaana about 352 B.C., vraa the most prorgeons and 
beautiful specimen of architectural sculpture the world has 


and she was succeeded by the second brother, Hidri- 
eus, who had married the younger sister, Ada. She 
survived him, but had been dethroned by the youngest 
brother, Pexodarus. Orontobates, a Persian noble- 
man, had married his daughter, and the Persian court 
had thus been induced to connive at the usurper's in- 
justice. The deposed queen still retained the fortress 
of Alinda, where she was visited by Alexander, and 
restored to the Carian throne. She adopted her bene- 
factor as her son; nor did he disdain to call her 

This princess, accustomed to the refinements and 
delicacies of an oriental court, was shocked at the 
plain fare and simple habits of the Macedonian 
soldier. During his stay at Alinda, she regularly 
supplied his table from her own kitchen, and when 
he was departing presented him with some of her 
best cooks and confectioners ; but he refused to accept 
them, saying, " he had been supplied with better 
cooks by his governor, Leonnatus — a march, before 
day, to season his dinner, and a light dinner to pre- 
pare his supper." On this occasion he added, that 
Leonnatus used to examine the chests and wardrobes 
in which his bedding and cloaks were put, lest some- 
seen. It was justly reckoned by the ancients as one of the 
seven wonders of the world. In later years the building was 
entirely destroyed, and for centuries even its precise location 
was unknown ; but modern excavators have discovered the 
ground plan of the building and many fragments of sculpture, 
so that it is now possible to get a fairly correct idea of the 
building as it stood in its glory. The name of the architect 
and sculptor was Scopas. 


thing of luxury or superfluity should be introduced 
by Olympias. 

The summer was now drawing to a close, and 
Alexander rendered it memorable by an act of kind- 
ness, which has been oftener praised than imitated. 
He granted permission to all his soldiers, who had 
lately married, to return and spend the winter with 
their brides. Xo distinction was made between of- 
ficers and privates ; and the whole body marched 
homewards under the command of three bridegroom 
generals, Ptolemy, the son of Seleucus, Coenus and 
Meleager. Should we view this as an act of policy, 
and not as emanating from the kind feelings of a 
warm heart, the success would be the same. Young 
warriors, with their laurels still green, returning to 
their homes and their youthful partners, and spread- 
ing over all Greece their partial accounts of the valor, 
generosity and kind feelings of their victorious cap- 
tain-general, would be the most influential agents that 
ever roused eager spirits to take up arms and rush to 

Parmenio conducted the Thessalians, the Greeks 
of the Confederacy, and the baggage and artillery, to 
Sardes, into winter quarters. But winter could not 
arrest Alexander's own exertions. Advancing into 
Lycia and Pamphylia, he proceeded to wrest the 
whole line of sea-coast from the enemies, and thus 
paralyse the operations of their superior fleet. On 
entering Lycia, Telmissus, a city on the banks of the 
Calbis, and celebrated for its race of diviners, opened 
its gates. He then crossed the river Xanthus, and 


received the submission of the cities Patara, Xanthus 
and Pinara. These were the seats of the Homeric 
heroes, Glaucus and Sarpedon, whose amiable and 
warlike character belonged to the Lycians in general. 

It is much to the credit of Alexander's character 
and policy that not a sword was drawn to oppose his 
progress. He, according to his general principles, 
would respect their franchises and privileges; and 
they, Cretans by descent, and living apparently under 
the institutions of Minos, would naturally not be 
averse to a Greek connection. 

Alexander, continuing his march up the Xanthus, 
arrived in that part of Lycia called, from its original 
inhabitants, Milyas. There he was overtaken by 
deputies from the important city of Phaselis, bring- 
ing a crown of gold and offers of submission. 

In descending from Milyas to Phaselis, he had to 
cross a mountainous ridge, the pass over which was 
commanded by the Pisidian town Termessus. This 
he took by storm, and thus conferred a signal favor on 
the peaceful occupiers of the low-lands, who had long 
been harassed by its bandit possessors. 

It was now mid-winter ; and the rich and luxurious 
city of Phaselis enabled Alexander to recruit the 
strength of his troops, and to enjoy a short repose 
himself. But this was disagreeably interrupted by a 
communication from Parmenio, announcing a traitor- 
ous correspondence between Alexander, the son of 
Aeropus, and the Persian court. We have before 
seen that he was almost known to have participated in 
the conspiracy to which Philip fell a victim, and that 


nothing but his apparent exertions in favor of Alex- 
ander, at a very critical period, had saved him from 
the fate of the other traitors. He was now the first 
prince of the blood, in high favor with Alexander, 
who had lately appointed him commander-in-chief of 
the Thessalian cavalry. The purport of Parmenio's 
communication was, that he had arrested a suspi- 
cious-looking stranger, by name Asisines, who, when 
questioned, had confessed himself to be a Persian 
emissary: that Amyntas, the son of Antiochus, on 
deserting, had carried some written proposals from 
the son of Aeropus to Darius ; that he, the emissary, 
had been commissioned to confer with the Lyncestian, 
to offer him the Macedonian throne and a thousand 
talents, provided Alexander the king were put out of 
the way. The Persian was sent in chains to be inter- 
rogated by the king and council. 

The king immediately placed the information be- 
fore his friends, who unanimously accused him of 
rashness, in bestowing the most important command 
in the army on a man whose past conduct had ren- 
dered him justly liable to suspicion. They advised 
therefore his instant removal, before he could ingrati- 
ate himself with the Thessalians, and be thus enabled 
to do mischief. 

But the management of the affair required con- 
siderable delicacy. Parmenio had only one company 
of Macedonians: even the Sardian garrison was 
Argive, and the remainder of the force under his 
command consisted of the Thessalians and other 
Greek confederates. It appeared therefore probable, 


that if the Lyncestian obtained the slightest hint of 
the discovery of the plot, he might excite some serious 
disturbance, or at least carry a part of the troops over 
to the enemy. Xo written orders were therefore 
judged prudent, but Amphoterus, an officer of high 
rank, was dispatched with a verbal message to 
Parmenio. Disguised in the native dress, and guided 
by Pisidians, he arrived safely at Sardes, and de- 
livered his orders, according to which the Lyncestian 
was instantly taken into custody. 

Phaselis was situated at the foot of that part of 
Mount Taurus which terminates opposite the Che- 
lidonian islands. The highest point of the range, im- 
mediately overlooking the sea, was anciently called 
Solyma, from the warlike Solymi of Homer. A little 
to the south of this was the mountain Chimsera, with 
its Bellerophontic fables. It is curious that a strong 
flame, called by the Turks yanar, still burns there 
unconsumed, and proves to this day the connection 
between the fabulous poetry of the Greeks and nat- 
ural phenomena. Mount Solyma itself is 7800 feet 
high, and some of its eastern ridges, under the name 
of Climax, or the Ladder, descend almost abruptly 
to the western shore of the gulf of Attalia. Alexan- 
der therefore, in advancing from Phaselis to Perga, 
had either to cross the almost precipitous ridge of 
Mount Climax, or to march along the sea shore, at 
the foot of the cliffs. He preferred the latter ; and as 
Strabo's account of this renowned adventure is parti- 
cularly clear, I introduce it. 

"Mount Climax overhangs the Pamphylian sea, 


but leaves a narrow road upon the beach. This, in 
calm weather, is dry, and passable by travellers ; but 
when the sea flows, the road, to a great extent, is 
covered by the waves. The passage over the hills is 
circuitous and difficult : consequently, in fine weather, 
the shore road is used. But Alexander, although the 
weather was boisterous, trusting principally to 
chance, set out before the swell had ceased, and the 
soldiers had to march during the whole day up to 
their middle in water." 

It was a rash adventure, and attended with danger ; 
for had a strong south wind arisen, the whole army 
would have been dashed against the rocks. As, on 
the contrary, a smart north wind had succeeded vio- 
lent storms from the south, ample occasion was given 
to the royal sycophants to proclaim aloud, that the sea 
had acknowledged the sovereignty of Alexander, and 
obsequiously retired before its lord and master. Alex- 
ander himself made no miracle of the event: in his 
letters, as quoted by Plutarch, he simply wrote — " I 
marched from Phaselis by the way called Climax." 

" Menander, (I quote from Langhorn's Plutarch,) 
in his pleasant way, refers to this pretended miracle 
in one of his comedies: 

" How like great Alexander ! Do I seek 
A friend ? Spontaneous he presents himself. 
Have I to march where seas indignant roll ? 
The sea retires, and there I march." 

This is in far better taste than the attempt of 


Josephus to illustrate the miraculous passage of the 
Red Sea, by a reference to this adventure.* 

Thence he visited in succession Perga, Aspendus, 
Side, and Sillium. At the last place his further 
progress eastward was arrested by hearing that the 
Aspendians, who had agreed to pay fifty talentsf and 
deliver up the horses which they were breeding for 
the Persian government, were inclined to evade both 
conditions, and preparing to withstand a siege. He 
instantly retraced his steps ; and, arriving sooner than 
these men expected, made himself master of the lower 
town, on the banks of the Eurymedon, and confined 
the Aspendians within their mountain citadel. Over- 
awed by this activity, they submitted to harder terms 
than they had before refused to execute. 

Thence he returned to Perga, and marched up the 
narrow vale of the Oestrus, with the intention of 
crossing Mount Taurus and entering the greater 
Phrygia. During this route he had to pass through 

* " Nor let any one wonder at the strangeness of the narra- 
tion [of the dividing of the Red Sea.] if a way were discovered 
to those men of old time, who were free from the wickedness 
of the modern ages, whether it happened by the will of God, 
or whether it happened of its own accord ; while for the sake 
of those that accompanied Alexander, king of Macedonia, 
who yet lived comparatively but a little while ago, the 
Pamphylian Sea retired and afforded them a passage through 
itself, when they had no other way to go ; I mean, when it 
was the will of God to destroy the monarchy of the Persians. 
And this is confessed to be true by all that have written 
about the actions of Alexander." — Josephus, Antiquities of 
the Jews, Bk. II., chap. xvi. 

f About $85,000? 

^Etat. 22.] SAGALASSUS— CEhJEKJE. 81 

the territories of the Pisida>A[ountainocrs, who re- 
tained a wild independence amidst their hill for- 
tresses, and whose hand was always raised to smite 
their more civilized neighbors. A strong pass in the 
main ridge of Taurus, and probably in the ravine of 
the Oestrus, was commanded by the inhabitants of a 
second Telmissus. Alexander forced his way through 
the defile, but despaired of capturing the city without 
his battering train. He therefore continued his 
march up the Oestrus. The Sagalassians, a powerful 
Pisidian tribe, possessed the upper part of the vale. 
These were joined by the Telmissians, who by moun- 
tain roads outstripped the Macedonian army. The 
united tribes fought a gallant battle in front of Saga- 
lassus, but were defeated, and the city was taken. 
The Selgse, who dwelt in the upper vales of the Eury- 
medon and its tributary streams, entered into alliance 
with Alexander, who then brought the whole of 
Pisidia to acknowledge his sovereignty. This winter 
campaign among the snows, torrents and precipices of 
Mount Taurus, is one of Alexander's greatest achieve- 
ments. Apparently he was the first foreigner that 
ever conquered the Pisidians. 

A march of five days brought him to Cclamsc, the 
capital of the greater Phrygia. Its situation, at the 
sources of the Marsyas and of the Mseander, has been 
elegantly described by Xenophon. The town sub- 
mitted without resistance; but its citadel, crowning 
the summit of a dark frowning rock, equally high and 
precipitous, was impregnable if honestly defended. 
The garrison however, consisting of mercenary Greeks 


and Carians, engaged to surrender if not relieved by 
a certain day. Alexander agreed to their proposal, 
and left fifteen hundred men to watch the fortress, 
and receive its submission at the appointed period. 
Antigonus, the son of Philip, who had married 
Stratonice, either the daughter or sister of the late 
king, was declared satrap of the greater Phrvgia. 
After the king's death he became one of his most dis- 
tinguished successors. He had hitherto been the com- 
mander of the Greeks of the Confederacy. 

From Cela?na3 Alexander sent orders to Parmenio, 
to join the head-quarters at Gordium, whither he was 
himself marching. Here the whole army re-united ; 
for the bridegrooms from Macedonia, attended by a 
strong body of recruits, arrived there also. At the 
same time came an Athenian embassy, to request 
Alexander to liberate the Athenians captured at the 
Granicus. Their request was refused, as it was 
judged impolitic to lead others to regard the bearing 
arms against united Greece, in behalf of barbarians, 
as a light offence. They were, however, told to renew 
their petition at a more favorable season. 

Gordium, in the time of Phrygian independence, 
was the capital of a powerful kingdom, and could 
boast a long line of resident monarchs. It was situ- 
ated on the left bank of the river Sangarius, and as 
late as Livy's age, was a commercial mart of some 
importance. Within the citadel were built the palaces 
of Gordius and Midas. Thither Alexander ascended 
in order to examine the famous Gordian knot, the 
solution of which was to indicate the future sovereign 

jEtta.22.] GORDIUS— MIDAS. 83 

of Asia. The tradition of the Phrygians respecting 
it is highly interesting, as presenting a vivid picture 
of the ancient Asiatics. 

Gordius, according to the tale, was a husbandman, 
possessing a small plot of ground and two yokes of 
oxen, one for his plough and another for his cart. As 
he was ploughing his field an eagle perched upon the 
yoke, and remained till the termination of the day's 
labor. Anxious to obtain an explanation of the 
singular omen, he set out to consult the diviners of 
Telmissus. As he was approaching one of their vil- 
lages, he saw a young maiden who had come forth to 
draw water : to her he opened his case. She was of 
the gifted race, and advised him to return home and 
sacrifice to Jupiter, The King. Gordius persuaded 
his fair adviser to accompany him, and teach him how 
to perform the ceremony duly and rightly. She con- 
sented, the sacrifice was completed, and the grateful 
husbandman married the maiden. Midas was their 
only son, and grew up a handsome and spirited man. 
In the meantime, the Phrygians had suffered severely 
from civil dissensions. In their distress they con- 
sulted the gods, who answered, w that a cart should 
bring them a king who would terminate their internal 
broils." As the whole assembly was deliberating on 
the meaning of this oracular promise, Midas drove 
up his father and mother in their rustic vehicle, to 
the outer circle, and was immediately recognized as 
the sovereign promised by the oracle. In memory of 
the event he consecrated the cart to Jupiter The King, 
and placed it in the citadel, to which he gave his 


father's name. The yoke was tied to the pole by a 
band formed of the bark of the cornel tree, and the 
knot on this was the celebrated test of future emi- 

In this account we see manifest traces of the ex- 
istence of a republic of husbandmen in Phrygia, who, 
unable to free themselves from the evils of faction in 
any other manner, chose, like the Israelites, a king. 
Long before Homer's age the Phrygians had been 
subjected to monarchal rule, as he makes even the 
aged Priam refer to his youthful campaigns on the 
banks of the Sangarius, when he bore arms in aid of 
the Phrygian kings Otreus and Mygdon, against the 
invading Amazons, who most probably were the loose- 
robed Assyrians. 

Various accounts were spread of the mode in which 
Alexander solved the difficulty. The most prevalent 
is, that baffled by the complicated nature of the knot, 
he drew his sword and cut it asunder. This, as being 
supposed most accordant with his character, has ob- 
tained universal belief. But Aristobulus, who was 
probably present, wrote, that he took out the pin that 
traversed the pole, and was thus enabled to detect the 
clews before invisible. At all events he did not 
descend from the citadel without satisfying the public 
that he had fulfilled the tradition, and was thencefor- 
ward to be regarded as the lord of Asia. 



Alexander's object in concentrating his forces at 
Gordium, was the conquest of the two powerful 
provinces of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia. With the 
spring, therefore, he marched from Gordium to 
Ancyra, the modern Angora. Here a deputation 
from the Paphlagonian chiefs waited on him, profess- 
ing their submission, but requesting as a favor not to 
be visited by an armed force. Such messages in after- 
times met with little favor from Alexander. But the 
period was critical, and he knew from Xenophon, that 
the Paphlagonian sovereign of his day could bring 
100,000 horsemen into the field. Their submission 
was, therefore, received, and they were ordered to 
place themselves under the government of Calas, the 
satrap of the Hellespontian Phrygia. He then ad- 
vanced into Cappadocia, and subdued the whole 
country within the Halys, and a considerable part of 
that beyond it. The whole of Cappadocia was en- 
trusted to the care of a satrap called Abistamenes by 
Curtius, Sabictas by Arrian. Thence he marched 
southward into Cilicia. The south-eastern part of 
Cappadocia is an elevated step, whence the waters 
that do not flow into the Halys, have fall sufficient to 

85 * 


burst through the barriers of Mount Taurus in their 
course to the Cilician sea. The ravines are, conse- 
quently, very narrow, and of great depth, and form 
defiles " where one man is better to prevent than ten 
to make way." The main pass is situated between 
Tyana and Tarsus, and has often been celebrated in 
ancient histories. But its value as a military post 
has been much exaggerated by historians. Of this the 
best proof is, that no successful defence of it is 
recorded in history. The main ridge of Mount 
Taurus is intersected in this vicinity by so many 
streams, that great advantages are placed at the com- 
mand of the assailant, and enable him to choose his 
point of attack. 

One day's march to the north of the main pass was 
a fortified camp, attributed by Arrian to the 
Younger, by Curtius to the Elder Cyrus, who, in the 
campaign against Croesus, fortified it as a stationary 
position. As Alexander came from the Ancyra road, 
he did not follow the steps of the Younger Cyrus, 
who, we know from Xenophon, formed no stationary 
camp there. We may be, therefore, certain, that Cur- 
tius on this occasion followed the better authority. 
Parmenio, with the main body, was ordered to halt in 
this camp, while Alexander, with his own guards, the 
archers, and his favorite Agrians, entered the moun- 
tain passes by night, and turned the enemy's position. 
On discovering this, the defenders of the pass fled, 
and left the road to the plain open. !N~ext day the 
whole army surmounted the main defile and com- 
menced the descent into Cilicia. Here information 


reached Alexander that Tarsus was threatened with 
conflagration by its satrap Arsames, who, according 
to Memnon's plan, had already laid waste a great part 
of the province. Alexander, with his cavalry, reached 
Tarsus with extraordinary speed, and saved it from 
destruction. But overpowered with heat and covered 
with dust, and seduced by the limpid appearance of 
the waters of the Cydnus, he imprudently bathed. 
Although it was summer in the plain, the stream 
partook more of the temperature of the melting snows 
of Taurus than of the circumambient atmosphere. 
The consequence was a violent reaction, and a fever 
that nearly proved fatal. 

Even without the intervention of the cold waters 
of the Cydnus, it is almost impossible to conceive how 
a prince of Alexander's early age and unseasoned 
habits, could have borne up under the numerous men- 
tal anxieties, and the unceasing bodily labors endured 
by him since his accession to the throne. If we 
except the short repose at Dium, it had been one unin- 
terrupted scene of violent exertion. We ought not, 
therefore, to wonder that nature should at last vindi- 
cate her rights, and compel a short cessation from 

Philip, an Acarnanian, was the physician on 
whom, at this critical period, devolved the responsibi- 
lity of attending the royal patient. The fate of the 
two continents depended upon the result, and the 
Macedonians, to whom, at that moment, their king's 
life was literally the breath of their nostrils, were not 
likely to discriminate nicely between the inevitable 


decree of nature and the work of treason. Therefore, 
it may truly be said, that the lives of both physician 
and patient trembled in the same balance. At the 
very turn of the disease, when the king was preparing 
to take a powerful medicine, he received a letter from 
Parmenio, announcing a strong suspicion that the 
Acarnanian had been bribed by Darius, and that his 
prescriptions were to be avoided. Alexander, like 
Julius Caesar, and some other noble spirits, would 
probably have preferred being poisoned or stabbed a 
thousand times, rather than prolong a wretched life 
under the conviction that no friends, no dependants 
were to be trusted. While, therefore, with one hand 
he presented Parmenio's letter to Philip, with the 
other he steadily carried the medicated potion to his 
lips, and drank it with unhesitating confidence. I 
have read, that the king before he swallowed the 
draught must have seen the innocence of the phy- 
sician in the expression of his countenance, on which 
conscious truth and virtuous indignation would alone 
be impressed. It might have been so, but the natural 
effect of so serious an accusation from so hiffh a 
quarter, joined with the known uncertainty of all 
remedies, would be an overpowering feeling of anx- 
iety, easily to be confounded with the indications of a 
guilty conscience. " I praise Alexander, (writes 
Arrian,) for the confidence he placed in his friend, 
and for his contempt of death." His noble conduct 
met with its reward. The remedy succeeded, youth 
prevailed, and the soldiers had soon the happiness to 
see their king and captain once more at their head. 


Then Parmenio was sent with a strong force to 
occupy the passes between Cilicia and Syria. He 
himself, with the rest of the army, marched to the 
sea-coast and visited the ruins of Anchialus. These, 
according to Aristobulus and Ptolemy, bore witness 
to the former existence of a mighty city. Among 
other remains they saw the statue of Sardanapalus, 
the last monarch of Upper Assyria. It crowned the 
summit of a monument dedicated to his memory. 
The hands of the statue had one palm across the other, 
as in the act of clapping. The inscription was char- 
acteristic of the man : 

" Sardanapalus, the son of Anacyndaraxes, built 
Anchialus and Tarsus in one day. But do you, O 
stranger, eat, drink, and be merry, as all other human 
pursuits are not worth this ; ' alluding to the clap- 
ping of his hands. 

From Anchialus he moved westward to Soli. 
Thence he made an incursion into the rugged Cilicia, 
and connected the line of his martime communica- 
tions with the point where the revolt of Aspendus had 
stayed his further progress. On returning to Soli, 
he received dispatches from Ptolemy, the governor of 
Caria, and Asandrus, his satrap of Lydia, announc- 
ing a complete victory over Orontobates, who had 
been appointed the successor of Pexodarus by Darius. 
The victory was followed by the capture of the for- 
tresses which had hitherto held out, and the accession 
of the island of Cos. Thus the whole of Asia Minor 
had been subdued in the month of September, B. C. 


This important victory, and his own recovery, were 
celebrated with public games, theatrical representa- 
tions, and the festivities that usually accompanied 
the performance of a great sacrifice. The whole army 
attended the image of iEsculapius, in solemn proces- 
sion, and the amusing spectacle of the lamp race was 
exhibited at night. 

Memnon had commenced naval operations with the 
spring. From Samos he had sailed to Chios, which 
was betrayed into his hands. Thence he sailed to 
Lesbos, and soon induced four out of the five cities of 
the island to renounce the Macedonian alliance, and 
to submit to the terms imposed on the Greeks by the 
peace of Antalcidas. But Mitylene, the chief city, 
withstood a siege. As Memnon was eagerly pressing 
this forward, he fell ill and died. This, according 
to Arrian, was the severest blow that could befal 
Darius. Memnon's plans were to reduce the islands, 
occupy the Hellespont, invade Macedonia, and sub- 
sidize the Southern Greeks. How far he was capable 
of carrying them into effect must now remain un- 
known. His plans procured him a great name, but 
his actions are not worthy of being recorded. He was 
a Rhodian, whose sister, a lady of great personal 
beauty, had married Artabazus, the Persian satrap of 
the Hellespontian Phrygia. Hence he became early 
involved in the intrigues of the Persian court. Ar- 
tabazus was one of the rebellious satraps, and al- 
though supported by Memnon, had been compelled 
with him and his family to take refuge in the Mace- 
donian court, where Philip had given them a hospita- 

JBtat. 23.] DEATH OF MEMNON. 91 

ble reception. The high appointment of Mentor must 
have introduced Memnon again upon the stage of 
Asiatic politics ; yet, at the commencement of the war, 
his situation in the Persian camp appears to have 
been very subordinate. At the battle on the 
Granicus he fought bravely, but, as a general, dis- 
played no more self-possession and talent than his 
companions. A brave man would have taken his 
station with the Greek mercenaries; an able man, 
from a fugitive cavalry 19,000 in number, and not 
pursued, would have rallied some, at least, and 
brought them back to support the retreat of the in- 
fantry. At Ephesus his plans were counteracted ; at 
Miletus he was too late ; and at Halicarnassus he lost 
the strongest maritime fortress in Asia, although he 
was master of the sea and of 400 triremes, and had 
unlimited resources in men and money at his com- 
mand. If we judge of him by his actions, we must 
infer that party spirit invested him with talents that 
did not belong to him. Pharnabazes, his sister's son, 
was appointed his successor. He, in conjunction with 
Autophradates, the admiral, forced Mytilene to sub- 
jection, and separated Tenedos from the confed- 
eracy. Here their enterprise and success ceased. 
Thymodes, the son of Mentor, arrived with a com- 
mission to convey all the Greek mercenaries to Syria. 
The fleet was thus left comparatively helpless. 

But the hopes of the anti-Macedonian party in 
Greece, were great during the whole of this summer. 
The Persian fleet commanded the iEgean, and all the 
information that reached Greece was from the parti- 


zans of Persia. The battle of Issus was not fought 
till October; not a single military exploit of conse- 
quence had marked the progress of the great army 
during the previous summer. Darius was known to 
have passed the Great Desert, and his camp was 
thronged with republican Greeks, offering and press- 
ing their military services ; and eager to reassert the 
supremacy of the Southern Greeks on the plains of 
Syria. The translation of the following passage 
from the famous speech of JEschines, will illustrate 
this assertion. He is addressing Demosthenes. "But 
when Darius had arrived on the sea-coast with all his 
forces, and Alexander, in Cilicia, was cut off from all 
his communications, and in want of all things, as you 
said, and was on the point, as you expressed it, of 
being trodden under foot, together with his troops, by 
the Persian cavalry ; when the citv could not bear 
your insolence, as you went round with your dis- 
patches hanging from every finger, and pointed me 
out as melancholy in countenance and downcast in 
spirits, adding, that my horns were already gilt for 
the impending sacrifice, and that I should be crowned 
with the garlands as soon as any misfortune befel 
Alexander, yet even then you did nothing, but de- 
ferred acting till a better opportunity." Demosthenes 
was content with speaking, but Agis, the king of 
Sparta, was more active : he sailed in a trireme, and 
had an interview with Pharnabazus at the small 
island of Syphnus. where they conferred on the best 
manner of forming an anti-Macedonian party in 
Greece. But the arrival of the information of the 


defeat at Issus, put a sudden end to their delibera- 

Darius had encamped in the great plain between 
the Syrian Gates and the modern Aleppo. There he 
prepared to wait the attack of his antagonist. But 
the long delay caused by the illness of Alexander, by 
the expedition into Western Cilicia, and by the ap- 
parent necessity of waiting the result of the opera- 
tions in Caria, induced Darius to imagine that his 
opponent had no intention to give him battle. 

The Persian king was not without Greek advisers ; 
among others was Charidemus, the Athenian exile. 
This democrat, having sought the court of a despot as 
a refuge, was not forgetful of his liberty of speech ; 
but having overstepped those limits of decorum, of 
which the Medes and Persians were immutably jeal- 
ous, was put to death. Amyntas, the son of Antio- 
chus, besought Darius to remain in his camp, and 
assured him, from his knowledge of Alexander's char- 
acter, that he would be certain to seek his enemy 
wherever he was to be found. But Darius was con- 
fident of success, and hostile to delay; the principal 
part of the equipage and court was, therefore, sent to 
Damascus, and the army began to march into Cilicia. 

Prom Soli, Philotas with the cavalry crossed the 
great alluvial flat formed by the depositions of the 
Cydnus and the Sarus, and called the Aleian plain 
by the ancients, while Alexander conducted the in- 
fantry along the sea-coast, and visited, first, a temple 
of Minerva, built on a rising mound called Magarsus, 
and then Mallus. To this city, an Argive colony, ho 


remitted all the public taxes, and sacrificed to their 
supposed founder, Amphilochus, with all the honors 
due to a demi-god. The Persians had, of late years, 
behaved tyrannically to most of their subjects in 
Western Asia. Caria, as we have already seen, had 
been deprived of its native princes: so had Paphla- 
gonia and Cilicia : for the Syenesis, (long the name 
of the independent kings of the latter province,) had 
been replaced by a satrap. The natives had, conse- 
quently, all welcomed with pleasure their change of 

At Mallus, Alexander received information of the 
advance of the Persian army to a place called Sochi, 
within two days march of the Syrian Gates. On this 
he summoned a council of war, and consulted it as to 
ulterior measures. The council unanimously advised 
him to advance and give the enemy battle. In accord- 
ance with this resolution, the army moved forwards, 
and in two days arrived at Castabala. There Parme- 
nio met the king. He had forced his way over the 
western ridge of Mount Amanus, through the pass 
called the lower Amanian gates, had captured Issus, 
and occupied the more eastern passes into Syria. In 
two days more the army surmounted the Xenophon- 
teian gates of Cilicia and Syria, and encamped at 
Myriandrus. A heavy storm of wind and rain con- 
fined the Macedonians within their camp during the 
ensuing night. Next day Alexander was surprised 
by the intelligence that Darius was in his rear. 

The Persians had marched through the upper 
Amanian gates into the plain of Issus, captured that 


town, and put the Macedonian invalids to a cruel 
death. Thence Darius advanced to the Pinarus, a 
river that flows through the plain of Issus into the 
western side of the head of the gulf. 

Alexander could not at first believe that Darius 
was in his rear; he therefore ordered a few of the 
Companions to embark in a thirty-oared galley, to 
sail up the gulf, and bring back accurate intelligence. 
Xothing can be a stronger proof either of the over- 
weening confidence or of the extraordinary imbecility 
of the Persian leaders, than that, with the full com- 
mand of the sea, with innumerable ships, and with 
time sufficient to have concentrated their whole naval 
force, they had not apparently a single vessel in the 
Issic gulf, or on the Cilician coast. The Companions 
on board the galley executed their orders, and re- 
ported that the curve of the bay had enabled them to 
see the whole country, to the west of the gates, cov- 
ered with the enemy's troops. Upon this Alexander 
summoned the generals, the chief officers of the 
cavalry, and the leaders of the confederates, and 
addressed them in a speech, of which Arrian has 
enumerated the principal topics. 

When he had finished speaking, the veteran officers 
crowded round their young captain, embraced his 
hands, cheered his hopes by their confident speeches, 
and desired him to lead them to the field without 
delay. The day was now drawing to a close, the men 
took their evening meal, and the whole army, pre- 
ceded by a strong reconnoitring party, retraced its 
steps towards the gates. At midnight it re-occupied 


the defile. Strong watches were stationed on the sur- 
rounding heights, whilst the rest were indulged with 
a short repose. The king ascended a mountain, 
whence he could see the whole plain blazing with the 
camp fires of the Persian host. There he erected an 
altar, and with his usual attention to religious duties, 
sacrificed by torch-light to the patron gods of the 

With the dawn the army moved down the road, in 
single column as long as the pass was narrow ; but as 
it opened, the column was regularly formed into line, 
with the mountain on the right and the sea on the 
left hand. Alexander, as usual, commanded the right 
and Parmenio the left wing. Craterus under Par- 
menio, and Xicanor under Alexander, commanded 
the wings of the phalanx. 

Darius, whose movements were embarrassed by the 
multitude of his forces, ordered his 30,000 cavalry 
and 20,000 light troops to cross the Pinarus, that he 
might have more room to form his lines. In the 
centre he stationed his heavv armed Greek merce- 
naries, 30,000 in number, the largest Greek force of 
that denomination mentioned in historv. On each 
side he distributed 60,000 Persians, armed in a simi- 
lar manner. These troops were called Cardaces, all 
natives of Persis, or Persia Proper, and trained to 
arms from their vouth. To the extreme left of these 
were posted 20,000 light troops, on the side of a hill, 
and threatening the rear of Alexander's right wing. 
To understand this, it must be supposed, that the 
mountain at the western foot of which the Pinaru* 

JEtat. 23.] BATTLE OF ISSUS. 97 

flows, curves to the east with an inclination to the 
south. Alexander's troops, who occupied a much 
shorter portion of the course of the Pinarus, were 
thus not only outflanked, but had their right wing 
completely turned. 

While Darius was thus forming his line, Alexan- 
der brought up his cavalry, and sending the Pelopon- 
nesians and other confederates to the left wing, re- 
tained the Companions and the Thessalians. His 
orders to Parmenio were to keep close to the sea and 
avoid being turned. But when Darius had recalled 
his cavalry and posted it between the Cardaces of the 
right wing and the sea, Alexander, alarmed for the 
safety of his own left, weak in horse, dispatched the 
Thessalians by the rear to the support of Parmenio. 
In front of the Companions were the Prodromi and 
Pa3onians. The Agrians, supported by a body of 
archers and cavalry, were so drawn up as to face the 
enemy posted on the hill commanding the rear. But 
as Alexander had determined to make the main attack 
with his right wing, he made a trial of the gallantry 
of these troops on the enemy's left, and ordered the 
Agrians, the archers, and the before-mentioned cav- 
alry, to charge them. But instead of waiting to re- 
ceive the attack, the cowards, numerous as they we] 
retired from the side to the summit of the hill. Sat- 
isfied, therefore, that he had nothing to dread from 
that quarter, Alexander incorporated the Agrians and 
archers with the right wing, and left the 300 cavalry 
to keep their opponents in check. 

The infantry with which he proposed to support 


the charge of the Companion cavalry were the guards 
and the Agema, composed of the picked men of the 
phalanx. The phalanx itself, consisting on the pres- 
ent occasion of only five brigades, was drawn up to 
face the Greeks. The two lines were now in sight of 
each other, and the Persians remained motionless on 
the high banks of the Pinarus. The Greek tacticians 
had imputed the defeat on the Granicus to the false 
position of the cavalry, and the want of a sufficient 
number of Greek infantry. Here both mistakes were 
avoided, and a Grecian force, which even Charidemus 
had judged sufficient, brought into the field. They 
were also admirably posted, as the banks of the Pin- 
arus were in general precipitous, and intrenchments 
had been thrown up where access appeared most easy. 
]STo doubt can be entertained of the very critical situa- 
tion in which Alexander was placed ; — all his com- 
munications with his late conquests were cut off, and 
he had no alternative between victory and starvation : 
but he could rely upon his troops. 

As the Macedonians were advancing slowly and in 
excellent order, the king rode down the lines, exhort- 
ing them all to be brave men, and addressing by 
name, not only the generals but the captains of horse 
and foot, and every man, Macedonian, confederate, or 
mercenary, distinguished either for rank or merit. 
His presence and short addresses were hailed with 
universal acclamations, and urgent requests not to 
lose time but to lead forwards. 

As soon, therefore, as the line was within reach of 
the Persian missiles, Alexander and the right wing 

Mint. 23.] BATTLE OF ISSUS. 99 

charged rapidly, crossed the Pinarus, and engaged 
the enemy hand to hand. The clouds of missiles did 
not interrupt their progress for a moment. The 
Cardaces, panic-struck by the suddenness and energy 
of the charge, fled almost without a blow ; but Darius, 
who with the Kinsmen and the Immortals were sta- 
tioned behind them, must have presented a vigorous 
resistance, for a considerable time elapsed before 
Alexander could turn his attention to the operations 
of his centre and left. 

In the mean time, the phalanx had not been so suc- 
cessful. The broken ground, the river and its preci- 
pitous banks, ill adapted for its operations, had been 
ably turned to advantage by the Greeks. Yet the 
contest had been desperate; on one side the Macedo- 
nians exerted every nerve to support the reputation 
of the phalanx, as being hitherto invincible, and the 
Greeks, from a long existing spirit of jealousy, were 
as anxious to break the charm ; but the victory indis- 
putably had inclined in favor of the Greeks. They 
had penetrated the phalanx in various parts, and had 
slain Ptolemy, a general of brigade, with 120 
Macedonians of rank, when Alexander, now com- 
pletely victorious, attacked the Greeks in flank, and 
instantly changed the face of affairs. The phalanx, 
thus relieved from the immediate pressure, finally 
contributed to the utter defeat of their opponents. 

We hear nothing of the behavior of the Cardace 
in the right wing, probably their conduct was equally 
disgraceful with that of their countrymen on the 
right. The behavior of the Persian cavalry was to- 


tally different. They did not even wait to be attacked 
on the right bank of the Pinarus, but crossed it and 
engaged the Thessalian and confederate horse with 
spirit and success. Parmenio, with all his skill, sup- 
ported by the acknowledged gallantry of the Thes- 
salian cavalry, had with difficulty maintained his 
position, when the decisive information reached the 
Persians that the king had fled. Then they also, act- 
ing on a well-known Asiatic principle, joined him in 
his flight. They were closely pursued by the Thes- 
salians, who overtook many, as the Persian horses 
were unable to move rapidly after the fatigues of the 
day, under the heavy weight of their steel-clad riders. 
Ten thousand Persian horsemen and 100,000 in- 
fantry are said to have fallen in this battle. Perhaps 
the statement is not exaggerated, for as the only 
mode of regaining Syria was by the vale of the 
Pinarus, thousands of the Persian infantry must 
have been crushed beneath the horses' hoofs of their 
own cavalry, which was the last body to quit the 

Alexander did not pursue until he witnessed the 
repulse, or more properly speaking, the retreat of the 
Persian cavalry. Then he attempted to overtake 
Darius, who had fled in his chariot as long as the 
ground would permit him ; on reaching rougher roads 
he mounted a horse, and left his chariot, shield, bow, 
and royal robe behind him, nor did he cease his flight 
till he had placed the Euphrates between him and the 
victor. We must charitably hope that he did not 
finally despair of winning the field before it was too 

JEtat. 23.] BATTLE OF ISSUS. 101 

late to attempt to save his wife, son, and daughters. 
The battle lasted long, for the Macedonians marched 
from the gates at break of day, and night overtook 
Alexander after a short pursuit, when he returned 
and took possession of the Persian camp. Thus ter- 
minated this great battle, contrary to the expectation 
of all nations, who had universally regarded the con- 
test as certain of terminating in the destruction of 
the invader. The same feeling had partially pervaded 
the Macedonian camp. Harpalus, Alexander's 
youthful friend, whom as his constitution rendered 
him incapable of military duties, he had appointed 
his treasurer, fled into Greece a few days before the 
battle, and carried with him the military chest and its 
contents; and many of the confederates, among 
whom Aristodemus the Pherrean and Brianor the 
Acarnanian are mentioned by Arrian, deserted to the 
Persians. Men could hardly be brought to imagine 
that a force like that conducted by Darius could pos- 
sibly experience a defeat. It is needless to mention 
nations and multitudes, perhaps of no great service 
in the day of battle, but there were five bodies of men 
in the Persian army, which alone formed as formida- 
ble an army as ever was brought to meet an enemy. 
These were : — 

The heavy armed Greeks 30,000 

The Persian cavalry 30,000 

The Immortals 10,000 

The troops called the Poyal Kins- 
men 15,000 

The Cardaces 60,000 


Hence it is manifest, that the Macedonians on this 
day conquered not the Persians alone, but the united 
efforts of Southern Greece and Persia. It is this 
galling truth that, among other causes, rendered the 
republican Greeks so hostile to Alexander. All the 
active partizans of that faction were at Issus, nor 
were the survivors dispirited by their defeat. Agis, 
King of Sparta, gathered 8,000 who had returned to 
Greece by various ways, and fought with them a 
bloody battle against Antipater, who with difficulty 
defeated them, the Spartans and their allies. With- 
out taking these facts into consideration, it is impos- 
sible duly to estimate the difficulties surmounted by 

According to Plutarch, the Macedonians had re- 
served for the king the tent of Darius, with all its 
Persian officers, furniture, and ornaments. As soon 
as he had laid aside his armor, he said to his friends, 
" Let us refresh ourselves after the fatigues of the 

* Issus will easily rank as one of the great battles of the 
world. The number of Macedonian troops was between 40.000 
and 50,000, and of that number only 450 were slain. The 
number of " effective " troops on the Persian side is given 
above as 145,000 ; but the entire number engaged on the 
Persian sida at Issus was 600,000, the whole Persian army 
being 1,000,000. The number of Persians slain was 100,000. 
The great disparity between the number killed on the victo- 
rious and the defeated sides — more than two hundred to one — 
was partly due to the fact that in these days a victory was 
always followed by a massacre. The historical result of this 
battle was that " it shut Asia in behind the mountains, and 
prepared to make the Mediterranean a European sea." — 
Benjamin Ide Wheeler, 


day in the bath of Darius/' " Say rather," said one 
of his friends, " in the bath of Alexander, for the 
property of the vanquished is and should be called the 
/ictor's." When he viewed the vials, ewers, caskets, 
and other vases, curiously wrought in gold, inhaled 
the fragrant perfumes, and saw the splendid furni- 
ture of the spacious apartments, he turned to his 
friends and said : " This, then, it seems, it was to be 
a king." While seated at table, he was struck with 
the loud wailings of women in his immediate vicinity. 
On inquiring into the cause, he was informed that 
the mother, queen, and daughters of Darius had rec- 
ognized the royal chariot, shield, and robe, and were 
lamenting his supposed death. Alexander immedi- 
ately commissioned Leonnatus to inform the 
mourners that Darius had escaped in safety; and to 
add, that they were to retain their royal state, orna- 
ments, and titles, that Alexander had no personal 
animosity against Darius, and was only engaged in a 
legitimate struggle for the empire of Asia. 

The above account " (I quote Arrian's words) 
is given by Aristobulus and Ptolemy. A report 
also prevails, that Alexander, accompanied by no one 
but Hephsestion, visited the princesses on the follow- 
ing day, and that the queen-mother, not knowing 
which was the king, as the dress and arms of the two 
were the same, prostrated herself before Hephsestion, 
as he was the taller. But when Hephsestion had 
drawn back, and one of the attendants had pointed to 
Alexander, as being the king, and the queen, confused 
by her mistake, was retiring, Alexander told her there 


had been no mistake, for his friend was also Alexan- 
der. I have written this report not as true, nor yet 
as altogether to be disbelieved. But if it be true, I 
praise Alexander for his compassionate kindness to 
the princesses, and the affection and respect shown 
by him to his friend ; and if it be not true, I praise 
him for his general character, which made writers 
conclude, that such actions and speeches would, if 
ascribed to Alexander, appear probable." In the 
present case we must be content with the latter clause 
of the eulogy, for long after this, Alexander, in a 
letter quoted by Plutarch, writes, " For my part, I 
have neither seen nor desired to see the wife of 
Darius; so far from that, I have not suffered any 
man to speak of her beauty before me." 

On the following day, although he had received a 
sword wound in the thigh, he visited the wounded, 
and buried the dead with great magnificence. He 
himself spoke their funeral oration. The soldiers 
and officers who had principally distinguished them- 
selves were publicly praised, and received honors and 
rewards according to their rank. Among the Per- 
sians slain were Arsames, Pheomithres, Atizyes, and 
Sabaces, the satraps respectively of Cilicia, the 
Greater Phrygia, Paphlagonia, and Egypt. These, 
and others of high rank, were buried according to the 
orders of Sysigambis, the mother of Darius. 

Of the Greek mercenaries who fought in the battle, 
4,000 accompanied Darius in his march to the Upper 
Provinces, 8,000 under Amyntas, the son of An- 
tiochus, reached Tripolis in Phoenicia. There they 

iEtat. 23.] DEATH OF AMYNTAS. 105 

embarked on board the fleet which had conveyed 
many of them from the JEgesm. Amyntas then per- 
suaded them to sail into Egypt and seize upon it, 
vacant by the death of the satrap. On landing, 
Amyntas first gave out that he came as the legitimate 
successor of Sabaces, but unable to restrain his troops 
from plundering and maltreating the natives, he was 
soon discovered to be an impostor. A war then took 
place, in which, after some successes, Amyntas fell. 
Thus perished a Macedonian prince of considerable 
talents, and who had distinguished himself by invet- 
erate enmity against Alexander. 

From Cilicia, Parmenio, at the head of the Thes- 
salian cavalry, was sent to seize the treasures, equi- 
page, and court of Darius at Damascus. This easy 
service, accompanied with the probability of great 
booty, was assigned to the Thessalians as a reward 
for their exertions and sufferings in the late battle, 
Alexander himself marched southward along the 
coast. The island Aradus, with its dependencies on 
the continent, was the first Phoenician state that sub- 
mitted. The king was with the Persian fleet, but 
the prince presented Alexander with a crown of gold, 
and surrendered his father's possessions. Aradus 
was then a maritime power of some consequence. 
The city covered with its buildings the modern island 
of Rouad. It possessed another town on the conti- 
nent, by name Marathus. Here ambassadors from 
Darius overtook Alexander, and as their proposals 
and the answer of Alexander are highly interesting, 
and illustrative both of the manners and diplomacy 


pnte the sovereignty with me, do not fly, but stand 
your ground, as I will march and attack you wher- 
ever vou may be." 

This certainly is not worded in the style of modern 
dispatches : but were it made a model for drawing up 
such papers, the art of diplomacy might be reduced 
to very simple principles. There is no attempt to 
delude, no wish to overreach, no desire to lull his an- 
tagonist into a fatal security: but the final object in 
view, and the resolution to attain it, are distinctly 
mentioned, and the sword made the only arbiter of 
the dispute. 

The Persian court, with the treasures and the fami- 
lies of the principal Persians, and the foreign ambas- 
sadors, had been captured by Parmenio. The whole 
body had moved eastward, but had been overtaken 
through the activity of the Thessalians, or the treach- 
ery of their own guides. The Thessalians reaped a 
rich harvest of booty upon the occasion. Alexander 
ordered Parmenio to conduct the whole convoy back 
to Damascus, and to send the foreign ambassadors to 
head-quarters. Among these were Theban, Athen- 
ian, and Lacedaemonian envovs. Alexander ordered 
the Thebans to be immediatelv set at libertv, as he 
felt conscious that thev -were "justified in having: re- 
course to any power likely to restore their country. 
The Lacedaemonians, with whom he was virtually at 

7 %j 

war, were thrown into prison, but released after the 
battle of Arbela. According to the law of Greece 
the Athenian ambassadors were traitors ; and it is 
difficult to say in what capacity they could appear at 

Mtat 21.] MARCH TO BYBLUS. 109 

the Persian court, with which, in their confederate 
character, they were at open war. They, however, 
were immediately set at large, principally, as Alexan- 
der himself alleged, for the sake of their chief Iphi- 
crates, the son of the protector of Eurydice and her 
infant princes. 

From Marathus Alexander marched to Byhlus, an 
ancient town celebrated for the worship of Adonis. 
The king was with the Persian fleet, but the inhab- 
itants, like the Aradians, submitted. 

The Sidonians did not wait to be summoned, but 
eagerly availed themselves of the opportunity of shak- 
ing off the Persian yoke. Twenty years had not 
elapsed since Sidon had been captured by Ochus, 
and burnt by the inhabitants in a fit of frenzy and 
despair. Forty thousand Sidonians are stated to 
have perished in the conflagration. If we can be- 
lieve Diodorus, the conduct of Mentor the Bhodian, 
on the occasion, was most execrable. He commanded 
the auxiliaries in the Sidonian service, and betrayed 
his employers into the hands of their tyrants. 

Alexander was now in the centre of Phoenicia, the 
cradle of Greek literature, and intimately connected 
with the remote traditions of the earliest colonization 
of Greece. With Phoenicia are connected the names 
of Europa, Minos, and Phadamanthus, of Cadmus, 
Semele, and Dionysus ; and not even Egypt had left 
a deeper impress of her intellect and arts on the plas- 
tic mind of Greece. But events unhappily occurred 
which prevented Alexander from hailing her as the 
mother of letters, commerce and civilization, and 


caused the siege of Tyre to be the most mournful page 
in his historv. While he still remained at Sidon, 
a Tyrian deputation waited upon him, presented him 
with the customary crown of gold, and expressed the 
wish of the Tyrians to acknowledge his authority and 
execute his commands. He dismissed the deputies 
with honor, and announced to them his intention to 
visit Tyre, and to offer sacrifices in the temple of 
Hercules; " not the Grecian hero, his ancestor," says 
Arrian, " but another Hercules, worshipped many 
ages before him in a temple the oldest known on 
earth." Selden, in his treatise concerning the Syrian 
gods, has identified this Hercules with the Scripture 
Moloch, on whose altars the Tyrians and their Car- 
thaginian colonists used, on extraordinary occasions, 
to offer human victims. It was consequently in the 
temple of Moloch, " horrid king," that Alexander 
wished to sacrifice, but certainly not with the im- 
pious rites of his oriental worshippers. 

The Tyrians, imagining it more easy to exclude 
than to expel their royal visitor, refused Alexander 
admission within their walls ; and, according to Cur- 
tius, informed him that the original temple was still 
standing in Old Tyre, where the god might be duly 

On receiving this refusal, Alexander summoned a 
general council of officers, and thus spoke : — 

" Friends and Allies ! In my opinion we cannot 
march safely into Egypt while the Persians are mas- 
ters of the sea ; nor pursue Darius while, in our rear, 
Tyre remains undecided in her policy, and Cyprus 


and Egypt are in the power of the Persians. The 
latter alternative is peculiarly hazardous, both for 
other reasons and on account of the state of Greece: 
for should we pursue Darius and march to Babylon, 
I fear the Persians, taking advantage of our absence, 
might re-capture the maritime cities, gather a power- 
ful force, and transfer the war to Greece. The 
Lacedaemonians are already our open enemies ; and 
the Athenians are restrained more by their fears of 
our arms than affection to our cause. But if we cap- 
ture Tyre, and thus take possession of all Phoenicia, 
the Phoenician fleet, the most numerous and efficient 
part of the Persian navy, will most probably come 
over to us: for when they hear that we are in pos- 
session of their homes and families, the seamen and 
naval combatants will not be likely to endure the 
hardships of sea and war in behalf of strangers. 
Should this be the result, Cyprus must either will- 
ingly follow, or be invaded, and easily subdued. 
When we sweep the seas with the united navies of 
Phoenicia, Macedonia and Cyprus, our maritime su- 
periority will be undisputed, and the expedition to 
Egypt facilitated. Finally, by the conquest of 
Egypt, all future alarms for the safety of Greece 
and Macedonia will be removed, and we shall com- 
mence our march to Babylon with a conscious feeling 
of the security of our homes, and with additional 
fame, from having deprived the Persians of al 1 com- 
munication with the sea, and of the provinces to the 
west of the Euphrates." These arguments easily in- 


duced the Macedonians and their allies to commence 
the siege of Tyre. 

The Tyrians, although not so early celebrated 
either in sacred or profane histories, had yet attained 
greater renown than their Sidonian kinsmen. It is 
useless to conjecture at what period or under what 
circumstances these eastern colonists had quitted the 
shores of the Persian gulf, and fixed their seats on 
the narrow belt between the mountains of Lebanon 
and the sea. Probably at first they were only fac- 
tories, established for connecting the trade between 
the eastern and western world. If so, their origin 
must be sought among the natives to the east of the 
Assyrians, as that race of industrious cultivators pos- 
sessed no shipping, and was hostile to commerce. 
The colonists took root on this shore, became pros- 
perous and wealthy, covered the Mediterranean with 
their fleets, and its shores with their factories. Tyre 
in the course of time became the dominant citv, and 
under her supremacy were founded the Phoenician 
colonies in Greece, Sicily, Africa, and Spain. The 
wealth of her merchant princes had often tempted 
the cupidity of the despots of Asia." Salmanassar, 
the Assyrian conqueror of Israel, directed his attacks 
against Tyre, and continued them for five years, but 
was finally compelled to raise the siege. Nabucha- 
donosor f was more persevering, and succeeded in 
capturing the city, after a siege that lasted thirteen 
years. The old town, situated on the continent, was 

* Shalmaneser. 

f Nebuchadnezzar, or Nebuchadrezzar. ,- 

JEtat. 23.] ANCIENT TYRE. 113 

never rebuilt; but a new Tyre rose from its ruins. 
This occupied the area of a small island, described 
by Pliny as two miles and a half in circumference. 
On this confined space a large population existed, and 
remedied the want of extent by raising story upon 
story, on the plan followed by the ancient inhabitants 
of Edinburgh. It was separated from the main 
land by an armlet of the sea, about half a mile in 
breadth and about eighteen feet deep. The city was 
encircled by walls and fortifications of great strength 
and height, and scarcely pregnable even if accessible. 
The citizens were bold and skilful, and amply sup- 
plied with arms, engines, and other warlike muni- 
tions. Apparently no monarch ever undertook a 
more hopeless task than the capture of Tyre, with the 
means of offence possessed by Alexander. But no 
difficulties could daunt him. Without a single ship, 
and in the face of a formidable navy, he prepared to 
take an island fortress with his land forces. His 
plan was to construct a mound from the shore to the 
city walls, erect his battering rams on the western 
end, there effect a breach, and carry the town by 

Materials were abundant; the whole shore was 
strewed with the ruins of old Tyre ; and the activ- 
ity of the leader was well seconded by the zeal of his 
troops. The work advanced rapidly at first. The 
waters were shallow, and the loose and sandy soil 
easily allowed the piles to reach the more solid strata 
below. But as the mole advanced into deeper water 

the difficulties of the undertaking became more evi- 


dent. The labor of construction was greater, the cur- 
rents more rapid, the progress slower, and the annoy- 
ance given by the enemy more effectual. Missiles, 
discharged from the engines erected on the wall, 
reached the work in front ; triremes, properly fitted 
out, attacked it on both flanks. The men employed 
found it difficult to carry on the labor, and at the 
same time to defend themselves. Engines were there- 
fore raised on the sides of the mounds, to resist the 
triremes ; and two wooden towers were built at the 
extreme end, in order to clear the city walls of their 
defenders. These were hung in front with raw hides, 
the best defence against the enemy's fire-darts. 

To counteract these measures, the Tyrians con- 
structed a fire ship, filled with the most combustible 
materials, and towed it to the mound. They then laid 
it alongside of the wooden towers, and there set fire 
to it. When the flames had taken effect, a general 
attack was made by the Tvrian fleet in front and on 
both sides. The Macedonians, blinded by the smoke, 
and enveloped in flames, could offer no effectual re- 
sistance. The Tyrians ascended the mound, de- 
stroyed the engines, and directed the progress of the 
flames. Their success was complete, and in a few 
hours the labors of the Macedonians were rendered 

Alexander possessed perseverance as well as ar- 
dency of character. He recommenced the construc- 
tion of the mound on a larger scale, so as to admit 
more ensines and a broader line of combatants. In 
the interval he varied his labors by making a short 

Mtat. 23.] SIEGE OF TYRE. 115 

excursion against the robber tribes of Mount 
Lebanon. This was not a service of great danger, 
but the necessity of pursuing the robbers into the 
recesses of their mountains, occasioned the following 
adventure, which Plutarch has recorded upon the au- 
thority of Chares. 

Lysimachus, his preceptor in earlier days, had ac- 
companied Alexander into Asia. Neither older nor 
less valiant than Phoenix, he claimed a right to attend 
his former pupil on all such expeditions. Night 
overtook the party among the wilds of Anti-Libanus; 
the rugged ground compelled them to quit their 
horses, but the strength of the old man began rapidly 
to sink under the united effects of age, fatigue, and 
cold. Alexander would not forsake him, and had to 
pass a dark and cold night in an exposed situation. 
In this perplexity he observed at a distance a num- 
ber of scattered fires which the enemy had lighted: 
depending upon his swiftness and activity, he ran to 
the nearest fire, killed two of the barbarians who 
were watching it, seized a lighted brand, and has- 
tened with it to his party. They soon kindled a large 
fire, and passed the night in safety. In eleven daya 
he received the submission of most of the mountain 
chiefs, and then descended to Sidon. 

Tie was convinced by this time that he could not 
entertain any reasonable hope of taking Tyre without 
the co-operation of a fleet. Winter had now set in, 
and he had every reason to hope that the Phoenician 
fleets would return, and as usual, spend that season 
in their own harbors. He was not disappointed ; tha 


kings of Aradus, of Byblus, and Sidon, returned 
home, and finding their cities occupied by Alexan- 
der, placed their fleets at his disposal. A few ships 
also joined from other harbors. Thus the king sud- 
denly found himself master of more than a hundred 
sail. This number was soon after more than doubled 
by the junction of the kings of Cyprus, with a hun- 
dred and twenty ships of war. These were Greeks, 
but their seasonable arrival was too welcome to ad- 
mit of reproaches for past misconduct; all was for- 
gotten, and their present appointments confirmed. 



The siege of Tyre occupied the first five months 
of this year, supposing it to have commenced in No- 
vember, B. C. 333, but if it did not commence till 
December, the capture did not occur till the end of 
June, 332. The Tyrians were surprised and dis- 
mayed when Alexander came with his formidable 
fleet in sight of their city. Their first impulse was 
to draw out their vessels and give battle; but the 
enemy's superiority disheartened them. Their next 
care was to prevent their own fleet from being at- 
tacked. To insure this they sunk as many triremes 
in the mouths of their two harbors as would fill the 
intervening space. 

The island, now a peninsula, was in shape a paral- 
lelogram, with its longest sides exposed to the north 
and south ; the western end threw out a small pro- 
montory to the north, and in the curve thus made 
was the principal harbor, secured by strong piers, and 
a narrow entrance; off this Alexander stationed the 
Cyprian fleet, with orders to keep it closely blockaded. 
In rough weather the fleet could take refuge in the 
northern angle, between the mound and the shore. 
The opposite side was occupied by the Phoenician 



fleet, which thence "watched the southern harbor. 
This was the only use derived from the mound, as the 
city walls in front of it were 150 feet high, and of 
proportional solidity. Had not this wall defied the 
battering ram, the Tyrians had ample time and room 
to triple and quadruple their defences on that single 
point. It does not appear, however, that the mound 
ever reached the walls, or that an assault was made 
from that quarter. The camp was now filled with 
smiths, carpenters, and engineers, from Khodes and 
Cyprus, who constructed huge rafts, on which bat- 
tering rams and other engines were erected, and ex- 
posed the whole circumference of the walls to at- 

But it was found that these enormous masses could 
not approach close enough to allow the engines to be 
plied with effect, as the outermost foundations of the 
wall were protected by a breastwork of huge stones, 
placed there to break the violence of the waves. The 
Macedonians, therefore, with great labor and loss of 
time, had to remove these unwieldv obstacles and to 
clear the ground. The vessels employed in this serv- 
ice experienced every species of active annoyance 
from the Tyrians. Small boats with strong decks 
slipped under their sterns, and cutting their cables, 
sent them adrift. And when Alexander had pro- 
tected his working vessels with a line of boats simi- 
larlv decked, the Tvrian clivers eluded their vili°;ance 
and cut the cables close to their anchors. Chain 
cables were finally substituted, and the work pro- 
ceeded. Eopes were fastened to immense masses, 

JEtat. 24.] SIEGE OF TYRE. 119 

and they were drawn to the mound and sunk in deep 
water between its western end and the wall. It was 
probably these stones that, in aftertimes, converted 
the island into a peninsula. 

At this period the Tyrians made an attempt to 
regain their naval superiority. They secretly pre- 
pared three quinqueremes, three quadriremes, and 
seven triremes ; these they manned with their most 
skilful and active sailors, and with their best armed 
and boldest warriors. The intention was to suprise 
the Cyprian fleet ; the time chosen mid-day, — when 
the sailors usually went ashore, and the watches re- 
laxed their vigilance. Then the Tyrian ships quietly 
glided one by one from the inner harbor, formed their 
line in silence, and as soon as they came in sight of 
the Cyprians, gave a gallant cheer and plied every 
oar with zeal and effect. The first shock sent down 
three quinqueremes, and in one of them, Pnytagoras, 
a Cyprian king; the rest, partly empty and partly 
half manned, were driven ashore, where the victors 
prepared to destroy them. 

Alexander's tent was pitched on the shore not far 
from the station of the Phoenician fleet. He, like the 
rest, probably in consequence of the heat, used to re- 
tire to his tent at noon. On this day his stay had 
been much shorter than usual, and he had already 
joined the Phoenician fleet, when the alarm was given 
of the Tyrian sally. The crews were instantly hur- 
ried on board, the greater number ordered to sta- 
tion themselves off the southern harbor, to prevent 
another sally from that quarter, while he, with all the 


quinqueremes and five triremes, moved round the 
western end of the island as rapidly as the crews 
could row.* 

The Tyrians, who from the walls viewed this 
movement, and recognized Alexander by his dress 
and arms, saw that if he succeeded in doubling the 
point and gaining the entrance into the northern har- 
bor before their ships returned, their retreat must 
inevitably be cut off. One universal cry was there- 
fore raised, and ten thousand voices called upon the 
detached party to return ; and when the combatants, 
in the moment of their triumph, disregarded sounds 
easily to be mistaken for cheers of applause and en- 
couragement, signals were displayed on every con- 
spicuous point. These were at length observed, but 
too late for the safety of the ships. A few regained 
the harbor, the greater number were disabled, and a 
quinquereme and the three quadriremes were taken 
without being damaged. The crews abandoned them 
and swam to the shore. The loss of lives was, there- 
fore, trifling. 

The attempts to batter down the walls were no 
longer liable to be interrupted by the Tyrian navy, 
but great difficulties still remained ; for the besieged, 
from their commanding position on the walls, could 
seriously annoy the men who worked the engines. 
Some they caught with grappling-hooks, and dragged 
within the walls; others they crushed with large 

* The distance around the western end of the island to the 
mouth of the harbor was about two miles and a half, and this 
could be covered in fifteen minutes. 

Mia*. 34.] SIEGE OF TYRE. 121 

stones or pierced with engine darts. They also threw 
hot sand on their nearer assailants; this penetrated 
the chinks of their armor, and rendered the wearer 
frantic with pain. Diodorus adds, and he could not 
have invented the tale, that from their fire-casting 
engines they threw red-hot iron balls among the dense 
masses of the besiegers, and seldom missed their* 

The attack on the eastern and western sides had 
already failed, when a more vulnerable part was 
found in the southern wall ; a small breach was there 
made, and a slight assault by way of trial given. The 
ensuing day was devoted to preparations for the final 
effort ; every ship was put in requisition and fur- 
nished with missiles, its proper place assigned, and 
orders given to attack at the preconcerted signal. 

The third day was calm and favorable for the in- 
tended assault : two rafts, carrying the most power- 
ful engines and battering rams, were towed opposite 
the vulnerable spot, and soon broke down a consider- 
able portion of the wall. When the breach was pro- 
nounced practicable the rafts were withdrawn, and 
two ships of war, furnished with moveable bridges, 
brought up in their place. The first was manned 
by the guards, commanded by Admetus ; the second, 
by the Companion infantry, commanded by Coenus; 
Alexander was with the guards. The ships were 
brought close to the wall, the bridges successfully 
thrown across, and Admetus, at the head of the for- 
lorn hope, scaled the breach, and was the first to 
mount the wall; in the next moment he was pierced 


by a lance and died on the spot; but Alexander and 
his friends were close behind, and made their ground 
good. As soon as some turrets with the intervening 
wall had been secured, the king advanced along the 
battlements in the direction of the palace, where the 
descent into the city seemed easiest. 

In the meantime the fleets had made two success- 
ful attacks from opposite quarters ; the Cyprians had 
forced their way into the northern, and the Phoeni- 
cians into the southern harbor. The crews landed on 
the quays, and the city was taken on all sides. Little 
mercy was shown, as the Macedonians had been ex- 
asperated by numerous insults, by the length and ob- 
stinacy of the defence, and the serious loss they had 
suffered ; for more men were slain in winning Tyre, 
than in achieving the three great victories over 
Darius. The Tvrians also had, in the time of their 
naval superiority and of their confidence, cruelly vio- 
lated the laws of war. A vessel, manned bv Mace- 
donians, had been captured and taken into Tyre. 
The crew were brought upon the walls, slaughtered 
in cold blood, and thrown into the sea, before the eyes 
of their indignant countrvmen. 

In revenge, eight thousand Tyrians fell by the 
sword when the citv was stormed, and thirty thou- 
sand were sold as slaves.* The king, the magis- 
trates, and the principal citizens, had taken refuge in 
the temple of Hercules, or, more properly speaking, 
of Moloch. These all received pardon and liberty. 

* The population of Tyre could hardly have been more than 
75,000. This vengeance was therefore extremely severe. 

JKt&t. 24.] FATE OF TYRE. 123 

It is to be hoped that superstition alone did net cause 
this distinction; and that the authorities proved that 
the law of nations had been violated not under their 
sanction, but by the excesses of a lawless mob. Tyre 
had not tyrannically abused her supremacy over the 
other Phoenician states, and they actively interfered 
in behalf of her children in the day of distress. The 
Sidonians alone saved fifteen thousand from the vic- 
tor's wrath ; nor is it probable that any captives were 
carried out of Phoenicia. 

The capture of Tyre was, perhaps, the greatest mil- 
itary achievement of Alexander; and had he spared 
the citizens when he had won their city, it would be 
a pleasing task to dwell upon the spirit, vigilance, 
self-resources, perseverance, and contempt of death, 
displayed by him during his arduous enterprise. 
But his merciless consignment of the wives and chil- 
dren of the merchant-princes of the eastern world to 
a state of slavery, and to be scattered in bondage 
among barbarian masters, sadly dims the splendor of 
the exploit, and leaves us only to lament that he did 
not act in a manner more worthy of himself and of 
the dignity of the captured city. It is no excuse to 
allege in his behalf, that it was done in accordance 
with the spirit of his age ; for Alexander, in feelings, 
in natural talents, and by education, was far beyond 
his contemporaries, and his lofty character subjects 
him to be tried by his peers, according to the general 
laws of humanity. 

A curious anecdote connected with the siege, and 
illustrative of ancient manners and superstitions, is 


recorded by historians. The Carthaginians, in one 
of their campaigns against the Sicilian Greeks, had 
seized and carried away a valuable statue of the 
Grecian Apollo. This god of the vanquished had 
been selected as a gift worthy of the acceptance of 
the mother city, and had been placed at the footstool 
of Moloch in his Tyrian temple. The Grecian god, 
in this state of degradation, was naturally suspected 
of rejoicing at the approach of his countrymen ; and 
the morbid feelings of some Tvrians deluded them 
so far, as to lead them to imagine that he had ap- 
peared to them in their sleep, and announced his in- 
tention to desert. The case was brought before the 
magistrates, who could not discover a more effectual 
mode of allaying the popular apprehensions than by 
binding the disaffected statue, with golden chains, to 
the horns of Moloch's altar. The Tyrian's patriot- 
ism was not doubted. To his custody, therefore, his 
fellow god was consigned. 

One of Alexander's first cares, on entering the tem- 
ple, was with clue ceremony to release the statue from 
its chains, and to give it the new name of Phil-Alex- 

The sacrifice to Hercules, the ostensible cause of 
the war, was celebrated with due pomp; and the ves- 
sels sailed, and the troops inarched, in solemn pro- 
cession. The usual festivities followed, accompanied 
by gymnastic contests, and the whole was closed by 
the favorite lamp race.* The quinquereme, which he 

* It will be observed that, ordinarily, victories in the Asiatic 
campaigns of Alexander, were followed by festivities and 


had himself taken, the sole trophy of his naval wars, 
was dedicated with an inscription in the temple of 

games. The festivities of course consisted chiefly of eating 
and drinking, particularly the latter. The games were of a 
sort that would now be called an athletic field day, but they 
had all the patriotic and religious associations of having come 
down from the heroic meets at Olympia. The chief of these 
games were : — 

(1) The foot race, from the 200 yards dash to the long run 
of more than three miles. Sometimes races were run in 
heavy armor. 

(2) The horse race. 

(3) The chariot races. These varied somewhat by the 
number of the horses attached to the chariot. The chief test 
of these races was getting safely past the turning point, the 
goal or pillar round which the vehicles must be turned, as 
they traversed the course many times in each race. The very 
horses learned to dread this critical point at which so many 
chariots were wrecked and their drivers injured or killed. 

(4) Wrestling. 

(5) Boxing. 

(6) A combination of five games called the pentathlon, 
the chief of which seems to have been the long jump. 

(7) One of the most popular with the army of Alexander 
was the lamp race. This was contested between rival teams, 
or combinations of players. The lamp for this race was a 
candlestick with a shield placed at the bottom of the socket so 
as to shelter the flame. The lighted lamp was carried from the 
starting point to a certain distance by the first runner, who 
delivered it to the second, and he to his successor, and so on 
through the entire team. This race frequently took place by 
night. The contestants sometimes raced on foot, sometimes 
on horseback. Of course the lamp was to be delivered at the 
end of the course unextinguished. 

(8) There were also dramas, poems, and music. Probably 
other sports were added, as is usual in the jubilation by which 
victors are wont to celebrate any kind of a triumph. 


Hercules. So also was the battering-ram with which 
the walls had been first shaken. Its beam probably 
was formed of the trunk of one of the magnificent 
cedars of Lebanon. 

" Arrian (says Mitford) relates, as a report gen- 
erally received, and to which he gave credit, that, 
soon after the battle of Issus, a confidential eunuch, 
a principal attendant of the captive queen of Persia, 
found means to go to her unfortunate husband. On 
first sight of him, Darius hastily asked, if his wife 
and children were living. The eunuch assuring him, 
that not only all were well, but all treated with re- 
spect as royal personages, equally as before their 
captivit} r , the monarch's apprehension changed. 
The queen was generally said to be the most beauti- 
ful woman in the Persian empire. How, in the 
usual concealment of the persons of women of rank 
throughout the eastern nations, hardly less in ancient 
than in modern days, this could be done, unless from 
report of the eunuchs of the palace, Arrian has not 
said ; but his account rather implies that her face had 
been seen by some of the Grecian officers. Darius's 
next question, however, was said to be, Was his 
queen's honor tarnished, either through her own 
weakness, or by any violence ? The eunuch protest- 
ing with solemn oaths that she was as pure as when 
she parted from Darius, and adding that Alexander 
was the best and most honorable of men, Darius 
raised his hands towards heaven and exclaimed, ' O, 
Great God, who disposest of the affairs of kings 
among men, preserve to raa the empire of the Per- 

Mta.t. 24.] PROPOSAL OF DARIUS. 127 

sians and Medes, as thou gavest it ; but if it be thy 
will that I am no longer to be king of Asia, lot Alex- 
ander, in preference to all others, succeed to my 
power.' The historian then adds his own remark, 
' so does honorable conduct win the regard even of 

" This, which Arrian has judged not unworthy of 
a place in his Military History of Alexander, is ob- 
viously not, like numberless stories of private con- 
versations related by Diodorus, and Plutarch, and 
Curtius, and others, what none who were likely to 
know would be likely to tell; but, on the contrary, 
what no way requiring concealment, the eunuch 
would be rather forward to relate: so that, not im- 
probably many Greeks, and among them some ac- 
quainted with his character, and able to estimate his 
veracity, might have had it from himself." 

I have transcribed the above anecdote from Mit- 
ford, and added his judicious observations ; and I re- 
gard the second embassy from Darius as the effect 
of the impression made upon his mind by the 
eunuch's communication. It arrived in the camp 
before the fall of Tyre. The ambassadors were em- 
powered to offer, on the part of Darius, ten thousand 
talents as the ransom of his family, one of his 
daughters in marriage, and, as her portion, all Asia 
to the west of the Euphrates. 

These proposals were as usual submitted to the con- • 
sideration of the Macedonian council, and Parmenio 
unhesitatingly said, "Were I Alexander, I would 
conclude the war on these terms, and incur no further 


risk." " So would I, (said the King,) were I Par- 
menio, but as I am Alexander, another answer must 
be returned." This, in the direct form, was to the 
following purpose : 

" I want no money from you, nor will I receive 
a part of the empire for the whole ; for Asia and all 
its treasures belong to me. If I wished to marry 
your daughter, I can do it, without asking your con^ 
sent. If you wish to obtain any favor from me, 
come in person and ask for it." 

This answer convinced Darius that negotiations 
were useless. He, therefore, renewed his prepara- 
tions for another struggle. The siege of Tyre had 
lasted seven months, but no attempt to relieve it had 
been made from any quarter. It is difficult to say 
what prevented the Carthaginians from aiding the 
mother city, which, with their maritime superiority, 
they could so effectually have done. Rumors of 
civil dissensions and wars in their own territories 
have been alleged, but history fails us as to particu- 
lars. Carthaginian ambassadors were found in 
Tyre, but they do not seem to have interfered between 
the belligerents. 

Palestine, with the adjoining districts, submitted 
to the conqueror. The patrimony of David and the 
city of Goliah equally acknowledged his sovereignty,* 
and Ace, Ashdod, and Ascalon, neither lifted a spear 

* David's birthplace was Bethlehem, though his capital, 
Jerusalem, came to be known by his name. Goliath was of 
the city of Gath, situated nearly west of Jerusalem, about 
fifteen miles from the sea coast. 

iEtat. 24.] SIEGE OF GAZA. 129 

nor drew a sword. Gaza alone, under the govern- 
ment of Batis, an eunuch, dared to resist, and remain 
faithful to its king amidst the general defection. 
The city was built on a mound, and situated on the 
edge of the desert that separates Egypt from Syria. 
The fortifications were good, and the vicinity fur- 
nished no materials for the construction of works. 
Batis took into pay a body of Arabs from the desert, 
on whose ferocity, if not skill, he could depend. 

Alexander threw up a mound against the southern 
side of the city, on this he mounted part of the en- 
gines and battering rams with which Tyre had been 
overthrown. But the labor was great, as the sandy 
soil gave way under the works, and there was no tim- 
ber to be procured. The city walls encircled the 
outer edge of the mound before described. Hence 
thev were liable to be undermined, and the miners 
w r ere set to work. 

As Alexander was one day sacrificing with the 
sacred wreath round his brows, and was cutting the 
hair off the victim's forehead, one of those carnivor- 
ous birds, which in eastern cities are half tame, and 
were then probably well acquainted with the nature 
of a sacrifice, happened to hover above the king's 
head, and drop a small stone upon his shoulder. The 
omen was judged important, and, according to Aris- 
tander, foreboded the eventual capture of the city, 
but personal danger to the king, if he exposed him- 
self during that day. 

In obedience to the warning, the king retired be- 
yond the reach of missiles. But the besieged sallied 


at the moment, and were preparing to burn the en- 
gines. Alexander, thereupon, either forgot, or de- 
spised, the caution, and hurried forward to repel the 
assailants. He succeeded, but was struck by an ar- 
row discharged from a catapult ; it penetrated his 
shield and breast-plate, and sunk deep into his shoul- 

His first feeling on receiving the wound was joy, 
as it implied the veracity of Aristander, and the 
consequent capture of the town. But the wound was 
severe and painful, and was not easily healed. Soon 
after, the wall was battered down and undermined 
in various places, and an assault given. The breaches 
still required scaling ladders, but the emulation of 
the Macedonians was great, and the place was carried 
by storm. The first to enter the city was Neopto- 
lemus, one of the Companions and an iEacides. The 
garrison refused quarter, fought to the last, and were 
all put to the sword. 

Gaza possessed a good harbor, and was a consid- 
erable emporium for the productions of Arabia. 
Among the booty, great stores of frankincense, myrrh, 
and other aromatics, fell into the conqueror's hands. 
The sight of these brought an anecdote of his boyish 
days to the recollection of Alexander. Leonnatus, 
his governor, had one day, observing him at a sacrifice 
throwing incense into the fire by handfuls, thus ad- 
monished him, " Alexander, when you have con- 
quered the country where spices grow, you may be 
thus liberal of your incense ; in the meantime use 
what you have more sparingly." He now sent his 

JEtsit. 24.] VISIT TO JERUSALEM. 131 

governor large bales of spices, and added the follow- 
ing note. " Leonnatus, I have sent you frankin- 
cense and myrrh in abundance, so be no longer a churl 
to the gods." 

Here also he found many of the specimens of the 
arts and productions of the east. He selected some 
of these as presents for Olympias, and his favorite 
sister, Cleopatra, the Queen of Epirus. 

According to Josephus, Alexander marched, with 
hostile intentions, from Gaza to Jerusalem, nor did 
he invent the account, as it is also given in the Book 
of Maccabees. The question, as to the truth of the 
statement, has been debated with more virulence than 
the case required. The description given by 
Josephus is highly wrought — and interesting, as giv- 
ing a vivid picture of Jewish habits. " Alexander, 
(writes he,) having destroyed Gaza, hastened to as- 
cend to Jerusalem. Jaddeus, the high priest, learn- 
ing this, was alarmed and terrified, as he knew not 
how to meet the Macedonian king, irritated by his 
former disobedience. He, therefore, ordered the peo- 
ple to make their supplications, and sacrificing to 
God, besought him to protect the nation and deliver 
it from the impending danger. God appeared to him 
in a vision, as he was sleeping after the sacrifice, and 
told him to be of good cheer, to crown the city with 
garlands, to throw open the gates, to go forth to meet 
the Macedonians, with all the priests in their sacer- 
dotal robes, and with the people in white garments, 
and not to fear, as God would provide for their 


" Jaddeus rose from sleep, and rejoicing in spirit, 
communicated the divine message to the people. He 
then performed all that he was commanded to do, and 
awaited the arrival of the king. 

" On learning his approach to the city, he went 
forth attended by the priests and people, so as to give 
the procession a sacred character, distinct from the 
habits of other nations. The spot where the meet- 
ing took place was at Sapha, or The Watchtower, so 
called because Jerusalem and the Temple are thence 
visible. But the Phoenicians and Chaldseans, who 
followed the king, and expected him in his anger to 
allow them to plunder the city and put the high priest 
to death with every species of torture, witnessed a far 
different scene. 

" For when Alexander from a distance saw the 
multitude in white garments, and the priests in front 
with their variegated robes of fine linen, and the 
chief priest in his hyacinthine dress embroidered 
with gold, and bearing on his head the cidaris, with 
its golden diadem, on which was inscribed the name 
of God ; he advanced alone, prostrated himself before 
the holy name, and was the first to salute the high 
priest. But when the Jews with one voice had sa- 
luted and encircled the king, the Syrian kings and 
the rest of his retinue began to doubt the soundness 
of his intellects. Parmenio then ventured to draw 
near and ask ' Why he, before whom all prostrated 
themselves, paid that honor to the high priest of the 
Jews ? ' he answered, ' I did not prostrate myself be- 
fore him, but before the God with whose priesthood 

-ffitat. 24.] VISIT TO JERUSALEM. 133 

he has been honored. For while I was as yet at 
Dium, in Macedonia, I saw him in the same dress 
in my dreams. And as I was deliberating in what 
manner I should conquer Asia, he exhorted me not 
to hesitate, but to cross over with confidence, as he 
would be a guide to the expedition and deliver the 
Persian empire into my hands. As, therefore, I 
have seen no other in a similar dress, as this spectacle 
reminds me of the vision in my sleep, and of the ex- 
hortation, I conclude that my expedition was under- 
taken under Divine Providence, that I shall conquer 
Darius, put an end to Persian domination, and suc- 
ceed in all my plans.' 

" After this explanation, Alexander took the high 
priest by the right hand and entered the city, while 
the priests ran along on both sides. He then went 
up to the temple and sacrificed to God according to 
the directions of the high priest, and highly honored 
both him and the other priests. Then the Book of 
Daniel, and the prediction that a Greek was destined 
to overthrow the Persian empire, were shown to him. 
Prom it he concluded that he was the person signi- 
fied, and being much delighted, dismissed the multi- 

Thus Josephus : — it might easily be shown that the 
time fixed by him is a mistake, but of the occurrence 
of the visit there can be entertained no rational doubt. 
The behavior of Alexander is the same as in all other 
similar cases, and according to his maxim — u to pay 
the highest reverence to the priesthood of every coun- 
try, and to invoke the gods of every nation." It is 


also incredible that Alexander, who was detained nine- 
months on the sea coast, and whose curiosity as a 
traveller was equal to his ambition as a warrior, did 
not visit a city of the importance and magnitude of 
Jerusalem, and a temple and priesthood, the fame 
of which w T as great, at least on the adjacent coast. 
But when we have the direct testimony of the people 
most concerned, that he did not in this instance act 
contrary to his usual habits, it is too much to call 
upon us to disbelieve the positive testimony, merely 
because other writers have omitted to notice the oc- 

Perhaps the only stain on the character of 
Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, is his cruelty to the Jews, 
and if, in oppressing them, he was guilty of violating 
the privileges conferred upon them by Alexander, 
we have a sufficient reason why he passed over the 
circumstance in silence. That such was the case may 
almost positively be inferred from the fact stated by 
Curtius, that while Alexander was in Egypt, the 
Samaritans revolted and put the Macedonian gov- 
ernor to a cruel death. For this conduct thev could 
have no other cause than the superior favor shown to 
their enemies the Jews ; for before they had been the 
first to acknowledge the power of Alexander. 

We read in ancient and modern historians of the 
difficulties to be encountered by armies in marching 
across the desert from Gaza to Pelusium, and of the 
great preparations necessary for such a hazardous en- 
terprise ; but Alexander encountered no similar diffi- 
culties, and his army passed in safety between the 

JEtat. 24.] MARCH INTO EGYPT. 135 

" Sirbonian Bog " and " Mount Casius old," without 
suffering from thirst or being swallowed in quick- 
sands. At Pelusium, which he reached in seven 
days, he found Hephsestion, who had conducted the 
fleet from Phoenicia. 

One hundred and ninety-four years had elapsed 
since the conquest of Egypt by Cambyses, but the 
Egyptians had never been willing slaves to their mas- 
ters. Their revolts had been numerous, bloody, and 
even successful. After enjoying a turbulent inde- 
pendence for more than sixty years, they had been 
reunited to the empire by the late king Ochus, aided 
by a large Greek force. But their wounds were still 
green ; and hatred against Persia was as strong a mo- 
tive to revolution, as affection to Macedonia could 
have been. Sabaces, the satrap, with all the disposa- 
ble troops, had fallen at Issus. His lieutenant, Ma- 
zaces, was powerless, and in the hands of the natives. 
He, therefore, made a grace of necessity, and at- 
tempted no resistance. Thus Alexander took quiet 
possession of this most ancient and once powerful 
kingdom, without throwing up a mound or casting a 

From Pelusium he advanced up the country along 
the eastern branch of the ]N"ile, and first visited Helio- 
polis, and then Memphis, the capital of Lower Egypt. 
Here he remained for some time, and according to his 
usual policy offered sacrifices to the Egyptian gods. 
Even Apis was duly honored, and an effectual pledge 
thus given to the natives, that thenceforward their 
superstitions were to be respected. Public games 


and festivals followed; and competitors in athletic 
contests, in music, and poetry, flocked from the re- 
motest parts of Greece, to contend for the prize of 
excellence before a Macedonian monarch, seated on 
the throne of Sesostris. 

At Memphis, he embarked upon the Nile, and 
sailed down the Canopic branch. From it he passed 
into the Mareotic lake, where he was struck with the 
advantages of the site on which Alexandria was after- 
wards built. The lake Mareotis was then separated 
from the sea by a solid isthmus, broadest in the cen- 
tre, and narrower at both ends. In front was the 
island of Pharus, which offered a natural protection 
for vessels, between itself and the isthmus. The ad- 
vantages of the situation were so striking, that the 
ancient Egyptians had posted a body of troops on the 
isthmus in order to prevent merchants, whom they 
held in abhorrence, from frequenting the road. 
Around this military post a small town calledHha- 
cotis had grown, but before Alexander's visit it was 
fallen into decay. 

The disciple of Aristotle was not ignorant that 
there was no safe harbor at any of the numerous 
mouths of the Nile, and that the navigation along the 
shallow and dangerous coast was consequently much 
impeded. He was struck with the capabilities of the 
spot on which he stood, nor did he rest until the skil- 
ful engineers, by whom he was always attended, had 
drawn the ground-plan of the future queen of the 
East. So eager was the king to witness the apparent 
result of their plans, that for want of better. 


materials the different lines were marked out with 
flour taken from the provision-stores of the army. 
These lines were soon effaced by the clouds of water 
fowl which rose from the bosom of the lake and de- 
voured the flour. Aristander being consulted on the 
occasion, foretold from this very natural phenome- 
non, that it would be a mighty city, abundantly sup- 
plied with the necessaries of life. 

During his visit to Ephesus, Alexander had ob- 
served and admired the taste displayed by Dino- 
crates, the architect, in rebuilding the temple of 
Ephesus. Erom that moment he engaged him in his 
service, and to him was now committed the work of 
planning and superintending the erection of the fu- 
ture capital of Egypt. Ample funds were placed at 
his command, and a great city started into mature 
existence on the borders of the Libyan desert, without 
struggling through the previous stages of infancy and 

Here he was visited by Hegelochus, his admiral 
in the ^Egean, who came to announce the dissolution 
of the Persian fleet, the recovery of Tenedos, Lesbos 
and Chios, and the capture of the Persian leaders. 
This result naturally followed the defection of the 
Phoenician fleets, and gave the empire of the sea to 
the Macedonians. Carthage, which alone could have 
disputed it, shrunk from the competition, and re- 
mained motionless in the west. 

His next adventure, for his actions resemble more 
the wildness of romance than the soberness of history, 
was the visit to the Ammonian Oasis. Perseus, in 


his expedition against Medusa and her fabled sisters, 
and Hercules after the victory over Busiris, were 
said to have consulted this Libyan oracle. These 
were heroes whom he was anxious to rival, and from 
whom he could trace his descent. He, therefore, de- 
termined to enter the western desert, and, like his 
great ancestors, inquire into the future at the shrine 
of Jupiter Amnion. 

The fate of the army of Cambyses, which had per- 
ished in the attempt to reach the temple, buried, as 
tradition reported, beneath a tempest of moving sand, 
could not deter Alexander. Cambyses was the con- 
temner of religion, the violator of the gods of Egypt. 
The devoted troops sought the holy shrine for the ac- 
knowledged purpose of pollution and destruction. 
But their guides through the desert must have been 
natives. Many of these, in a case where their re- 
ligion was so deeply concerned, might be found will- 
ing to conduct the infidels into pathless wilds, and to 
purchase the safety of the sanctuary at the expense 
cf their own lives. Besides, all the warriors of 
Egypt had not fallen in one battle, and the islands of 
the desert would be the natural refuge of the boldest 
and noblest of the band. Probably, therefore, hu- 
man agency, as well as physical causes, combined in 
preventing the return of a single messenger, to an- 
nounce the fate of sixty thousand men. 

Alexander, on the contrary, was hailed as the de- 
liverer of Egypt, who honored the gods whom the 
Persian insulted, and who sought the temple in order 

Mt&t. 24.] THE TEMPLE OF AMMON. 139 

to consult the deity, and thus add to the celebrity of 
the oracle. 

Escorted by a small and select detachment, he set 
out from Alexandria, and marched along the sea- 
shore until he arrived at Parsetonium. Here he sup- 
plied the troops with water, turned to the south, and 
in eleven days arrived at the Ammonian Oasis. 

The Macedonians were prepared to expect miracles 
on this expedition, and certainly, according to their 
own account, were not disappointed. When threat- 
ened with thirst, they were relieved by sudden and 
copious showers of rain, and when a south wind, the 
terror of the wanderer in the deserts of northern 
Africa, had arisen, and obliterated all traces of the 
paths, and the very guides confessed their ignorance 
of the right way, two ravens appeared to the bewil- 
dered party, and guided them in safety to the temple. 
This, perhaps, admits of an explanation ; for a raven 
in the desert would towards nightfall naturally wing 
its way to its accustomed roosting place. But what 
can be said for Ptolemy, who writes that two large 
serpents, uttering distinct sounds, conducted them 
both to and from the temple ? Is it to be supposed, 
that the sovereign of Egypt, drawing great sums from 
the consulters of the oracle, was guilty of a pious 
fraud, for the sake of raising its fame, and multiply- 
ing its votaries ? If this cannot be admitted, we 
must have recourse to the mystic theories of Bryant,* 
according to whom both the Eavens and the Serpents 

* Jacob Byrant (1715-1804), an English author who wrote 
voluminously on antiquarian subjects. 



were only the symbolical names of Egyptian priests. 

Later writers pretend to give in detail conversa- 
tions supposed to have taken place between the king 
and the priests, and the royal questions and the di- 
vine answers. But they are proved guilty of false- 
hood by the testimony of the original historians, who 
agree in stating that Alexander alone was admitted 
into the innermost shrine, and that when he came out 
he merely informed his followers that the answers 
had been agreeable to him. 

He much admired the beauty of this insulated 
spot, surrounded by a trackless ocean of sand, and not 
exceeding six miles in diameter either way. It was 
covered witk olives, laurels, and shady groves of palm 
trees, and irrigated by innumerable bubbling springs, 
each the centre of a little paradise, fertilized by itself. 
In the middle stood the palace of the chief, inclosing 
within its buildings the residence of the god. At 
some distance was another temple, and the celebrated 
springs which cooled with the ascending and warmed 
with the departing sun, were at midnight hot, and 
icy-cold at noon. Imagination aided the Macedonians 
in verifying this natural miracle, although probably 
the change of temperature belonged to the judges 
rather than to the waters. 

According to Ptolemy, he returned across the des- 
ert to Memphis. Here he was welcomed by the 
deputies of numerous Greek states, who all succeeded 
in the various objects of their mission. He also re- 
newed with great splendor the feasts, games, and 
spectacles, and offered a public sacrifice to the Olym- 


pian Jove. Nor did these festivities interfere with 
his active duties, for during his stay at Memphis he 
settled the future civil and military government of 
Egypt. Doloaspis, a native, was appointed governor 
of the central part ; Apollonius of the side bordering 
on Libya; Cleomenes of the vicinity of Arabia. 
These two were ordered not to interfere with the 
duties of the local magistrates, to allow them to ad- 
minister justice according to the ancient laws of the 
country, and to hold them responsible for the collec- 
tion of the public revenues. Memphis and Pelusium 
were occupied by strong Macedonian garrisons, the 
rest of the country was guarded by Greek merce- 
naries. The army was supported by a fleet, but the 
commanders in chief by sea and by land were inde- 
pendent of each other. Arrian says, " He thus di- 
vided the government of Egypt among many, from 
being struck with the natural defences of the coun- 
try, so that it did not appear safe to commit the en- 
tire command to one man ; — and the Romans — 
taught, as I think, by the example of Alexander, to 
be on their guard with respect to Egypt — never ap- 
pointed its proconsul from the senatorian, but from 
the equestrian rank." 

The history of Egypt, for the last twelve hundred 
years, is the best commentary upon the policy of 
Alexander and the observations of Arrian ; for, dur- 
ing that period, it has been either an independent 
government, or held by rulers whose subjection has 
been merely nominal. 

Alexander was desirous of visiting Upper Egypt, 


of viewing the magnificent ruins of the hundred- 
gated Thebes, and the supposed palaces of Tithonus 
and Memnon. But Darius was still formidable, and 
the remotest provinces of the East were arming in his 
defence. The king, therefore, reluctantly postponed 
his examination of the antiquities on the banks of the 
Nile, and directed his march to Syria. 



With the spring the army moved from Memphis, 
and arrived a second time at Tyre, where Alexander 
received numerous communications from Greece, con- 
cerning the operations of Agis, king of Sparta. The 
Lacedemonians had not concurred in the general 
vote of the confederates, according to which Alexan- 
der had been appointed captain-general. They were 
consequently justified in attempting to dissolve the 
confederacy, as the confederates were justified in 
compelling them to submit to the general decision. 
But both Philip and Alexander had avoided war 
with them, and now they, unable to remain passive 
any longer, took up arms, and invited the southern 
Greeks to form a new confederacy under their ancient 
leaders of Sparta. Darius had supplied them with 
money, which they employed in bribing the chief 
magistrates of the republics, and in hiring mercenary 
soldiers. The Arcadians, Eleians, and Acha?ans, 
joined them ; some of the mountain tribes in Thes- 
saly excited disturbances ; and had Athens acceded, 
all Greece, with the exception of Argos and Messenia, 
would apparently have disclaimed the Macedonian 



But Athens, if deprived of the leading place, cared 
little whether it belonged to Sparta or Macedonia, 
and we have the positive testimony of ^Eschines, that 
Demosthenes remained inactive at this critical period. 
The great patriot went still further, for when the 
Athenians had sent ambassadors in the public ship 
Paralus, to wait on Alexander at Tyre, these Para- 
lians, as ^Eschines calls them., found a friend and 
emissary of Demosthenes in constant communication 
with the Macedonian king, who was also said to have 
received a letter full of fair words and flattery from 
the great orator. 

Under these circumstances, Alexander released 
the Athenian prisoners, sent money to Antipater, and 
a powerful fleet into the Peloponnesus. 

The Homeric principle, that there could be no 
heroes without continual feasting, was regularly 
acted upon by Alexander. At Tyre, previous to en- 
tering upon the grand expedition to Babylon, a pub- 
lic sacrifice to Hercules was celebrated, and the whole 
army feasted. They were also entertained with 
music and dancing, and tragedies were represented 
in the greatest perfection, both from the magnificence 
of the scenery and the spirit of emulation in those 
who exhibited them. Plutarch, from whom we de- 
rive this information, does not say whether the 
Tyrians had a public theatre or not. Probably a 
city so much frequented by Greeks as Tyre was not 
without one. It is impossible that the great body 
of the people in modern times should take the same 
lively interest in theatrical representations as the 

iEtat. 25.] FESTIVITIES AT TYRE. 145 

Greeks did ; their theatres were invariably scenes of 
contest either between rival poets or rival actors; 
party spirit entered deeply into the business of the 
stage, and large sums of money were lost or won ac- 
cording to the sentence of the judges. 

In the present case, the spectacles had been got 
up at the expense of the kings of Cyprus. Atheno- 
dorus and Thessalus, the two greatest tragic actors of 
the day, were brought to compete with each other. 
Pasicrates, the king of Soli, risked the victory upon 
Athenodorus, and ^icocreon, king of Salamis, upon 
Thessalus. We are not told whether the two actors 
played in the same piece; — probably not, and each 
had to choose his favorite character. Alexander's 
feelings were interested in the contest, as Thessalus 
was his favorite ; he did not, however, discover his 
bias, until Athenodorus had been declared victor bv 
all the votes ; then, as he left the theatre, he said, " I 
commend the judges for what they have done, but 
I would have given half my kingdom rather than 
have seen Thessalus conquered." 

The above anecdote proves the warmth of his feel- 
ings, the following fact the steadiness of his affec- 
tions. Tie heard that his misguided friend, Harpa- 
lus, was a fugitive at Megaris. His plans, whatever 
they were, had miscarried, and his associates had de- 
serted him. Alexander sent to request him to return, 
and to assure him that his former conduct would not 
be remembered to his disadvantage. Harpalus re- 
turned, and was restored to his situation. It was a 

dangerous experiment; — and it failed, for on a sub- 


sequent occasion he acted in the same manner, only 
on a much larger scale. His re-appointment was, 
however, an error of the head and not of the heart. 

All the necessary preparations had been completed, 
and the army quitted the shores of the Mediterran- 
ean, and marched to the Euphrates. There were 
three main passages over that river, which all at dif- 
ferent periods bore the common name of Zeugma, 
or the bridge. The most ancient was the Zeugma at 
Thapsacus, where Cyrus, Alexander, and Crassus 
passed into Mesopotamia. This was opposite the 
modern Pacca. The next was the Zeugma of the 
contemporaries of Strabo, at Samosata. The third 
was the Zeugma of later writers, and was the passage 
opposite the modern Bir. 

Two bridges had been partly thrown across before- 
hand ; these were completed as soon as the arnry ar- 
rived, and all passed into Mesopotamia. Mazaeus, a 
Persian general, who rather watched than guarded 
the passage, retired with his 3,000 horse without 
offering any resistance. According to Pliny, Alex- 
ander was struck with the advantages of the site of 
the modern Pacca, and ordered a city to be built 
there; it was called Nicephorium, and by its vicin- 
ity soon exhausted the less advantageously placed 
Thapsacus. In the middle ages it became the favor- 
ite residence of ITaroun al Pashid. 

At this point Alexander had to decide upon the 
future line of advance. He could either follow the 
example of the younger Cyrus, and march down the 
left bank of the Euphrates, or cross Mesopotamia, 


ford the Tigris, and enter Assyria from that quarter ; 
he preferred the latter, because it was better fur- 
nished with necessaries, and not equally exposed to 
the heat of the sun. 

Not a single stage or action in Mesopotamia is in- 
dicated by Alexander's historians, although he 
crossed the Euphrates in July — and the Tigris not 
before the end of September. The royal road from 
Nicephorium followed the course first of the Bilecha, 
and then of one of its eastern tributaries up to Car- 
rse, the Haran of the Scriptures. Thence it inter- 
sected the channels of the numerous streams which, 
flowing from Mount Masius, fertilize the rich terri- 
tory of which Nisibis was the capital. Here the 
army might halt, and furnish itself with necessaries 
to any amount. Hence also Alexander could rapidly 
move to any selected point upon the Tigris, and cross 
it before the enemy could bring any considerable 
force to bear upon him. 

Darius, in the meantime, had assembled all the 
forces of the East under the walls of Babylon. Hav- 
ing ascertained the direction of the enemy's march, 
he moved to the Tigris, and crossed over into Assy- 
ria. The whole army then advanced up the left 
bank of the river, until the royal road turned to the 
right in the direction of Arbela; it then crossed the 
Caprus or Little Zab, and reached Arbela, where the 
baggage and the useless part of the army were de- 

Darius conducted the combatants to the river; 
Lycus or Great Zab. These alone consumed five 



days in traversing the bridge thrown over this river. 
Perhaps military men may, from this fact, make 
a gross calculation of their numbers. The same 
bridge was, in later times, traversed by the Persian 
army which captured Amida in the reign of Constan- 
tius, in three days. Ammianus Marcellinus was a 
distant spectator of their passage. 

Darius then advanced to Gaugamela, or the 
Camel's House, so called from the camel which had 
borne Darius, the son of ITystaspes, in his retreat 
from Scythia. It was situated not far from the river 
Bumadus, the modern Hazir Su. Here the immense 
plain of Upper Assyria, stretching northward be- 
tween the Gordyoean mountains and the Tigris, pre- 
sented the field of battle best calculated for the opera- 
tions of a Persian army. Darius selected his own 
ground, and every hillock and other obstacle that 
could interfere with the movements of cavalry were 
carefully removed;* light troops were then sent for- 
ward to observe rather than contest the passage of the 

Alexander had reached this river in the vicinity 
of Beled or Old Mosul. The season was favorable, 
as all the rivers that flow from Mount Taurus are 
lowest in autumn ; and no enemy appeared on the op- 
posite bank; yet the army encountered great diffi- 
culties in the passage, both from the depth and force 

* It was the disaster at Issus that led Darius to choose a 
level plain for this battle. Where the field was not naturally- 
level, he made it so and awaited the attack on his own chosen 


of the current, and the slippery nature of its bed. 
The cavalry formed a double line, within which the 
infantry marched with their shields over their heads,, 
and their arms interlinked. In this manner they 
crossed without the loss of lives. Their entrance into 
Assyria was signalized by an almost total eclipse of 
the moon. This, according to the calculation of as- 
tronomers, occurred on the night of the 20th of Sep- 

The soldiers were alarmed, and feared its disas- 
trous influence ; but Aristander soothed their agitated 
•minds, by saying that it portended evil to Persia 
rather than to Macedonia. It is not easy to discover 
on what principle this explanation was founded ; for, 
as the sun, the glorious Mithra, was the patron god 
of Persia, that kingdom could scarcely be supposed 
to sympathize with the labors of the moon ; but Aris- 
tander was an able man, as well as a diviner, and 
boldly affirmed, that the sun properly belonged to the 
Greeks, and the moon to the Persians; on the same 
principle, he saw in the ensuing battle an eagle hov- 
ering over Alexander's head, and pointing upwards, 
announced the fact to the soldiers. It is a curious 
historical coincidence, that the battle of Arbela, the 
greatest victory achieved by the Macedonian arms,' 
and the defeat at Pydna which proved fatal to their 
empire, were both preceded by eclipses of the moon, 
and that the victor in each case knew how to con- 
vert the incident to his own purposes. Alexander as 
well as Paulus iEmilius offered sacrifices to the sun, 


moon, and earth, to the regular motions of which they 
knew the phenomenon to be attributable. 

For three days the army marched down the left 
bank of the Tigris without seeing an enemy; on the 
fourth, the light horsemen in front announced the 
appearance of a body of Persian cavalry in the plain ; 
they did not wait to be attacked, and were pursued 
by Alexander himself and a chosen body of horse. 
He failed to overtake the main body, but captured a 
few whose horses were inferior in speed ; from them 
he discovered that Darius was encamned as before 


described, and ready to give battle. It is evident 
from the above account and from the authority of 
other historians, that the whole country to the west 
of the field of battle had been driven, and that no 
inhabitants remained from whom any information 
could be derived. 

The army halted for four days on the spot where 
the king received the long-desired intelligence; this 
short repose was granted in order to enable the sol- 
diers to recover from their fatigues, and to prepare 
themselves for the ensuing contest. Part of even this 
brief relaxation from active duty was employed in 
forming an intrenched camp for the protection of the 
baggage and non-combatants. 

At three o'clock on the morning of the fifth day 
he recommenced his march at the head of his com- 
batants, who bore nothing but their arms. It was 
his intention to arrive in front of the enemy at day- 
break, but the distance was miscalculated, as the day 
was far advanced, when on surmounting a range of 


hillocks, he saw the interminable lines of the Per- 
sians drawn up in order of battle. The intervening 
space was still four miles. 

Here he commanded a halt, and proposed the ques- 
tion to the leading officers hastily called together, 
whether they should immediately advance or post- 
pone the battle till the next morning. The great ma- 
jority were averse to delay, but Parmenio, whose 
experienced eye had already discovered the traces of 
the levelling operations, was for encamping on the 
spot, and carefully examining the ground, as he sus- 
pected various parts in front of the enemy's lin^s to 
be trenched and staked. His prudent advice pre- 
vailed, and the army encamped on the brow of the 
low hills, under arms, and in order of battle. Ihen 
the king in person, escorted by a strong body of Ifght 
troops and cavalry, examined every part of the field 
as narrowly as circumstances would allow. On his 
return to the main body he again called his officers 
together, and told them, it was needless for him te 
exhort men whose own courage and past deeds nrust 
prove the strongest incitement; but he earnestly be- 
sought them to rouse the spirits of those under th-eir 
command, and impress upon their minds a sense of 
the importance of the impending combat, in which 
they were to contend, not for Syria, Phoenicia, and 
Egypt, as before, but for all Asia and for empire. 
For this purpose every captain of horse and foot 
ought to address his own troop and company; every 
colonel his own regiment ; and every general in the 
phalanx his own brigade. The men, naturally brave, 


needed not long harangues to excite their courage, but 
to be simply told, carefully to keep their ranks dur- 
ing the struggle, to advance in the deepest silence, to 
cheer with a loud and clear voice, and to peal forth 
the shout of victory in the most terrific accents. He 
requested the officers to be quick in catching trans- 
mitted orders, and in communicating them to their 
troops, and to remember that the safety of all was 
endangered by the negligence and secured by the la- 
borious vigilance of each individual. 

The generals, as at Issus, told their king to be of 
good cheer, and rely with confidence upon their ex- 
ertions. The men were then ordered to take their 
evening meal, and to rest for the night. 

It is said that Parmenio, alarmed by the immense 
array of the Persian lines, and by the discordant 
sounds of the congregated nations, borne across the 
plain like the hoarse murmurs of the agitated ocean, 
entered the king's tent at a late hour, and proposed 
a night attack. The answer was (for Parmenio was 
not alone) " it would be base to steal a victory, and 
Alexander must conquer in open day and without 

While the Macedonians were thus snatching a brief 
repose, the Persians were kept all night under arms, 
as they had been during the greatest part of the pre- 
ceding day; this alone was sufficient to break down 
the spirits of the men and to jade the horses. But 
Darius had chosen and prepared his ground, and 
could not change it without throwing his whole line 
into confusion. 


His order of battle, described on paper, fell into 
the hands of the Macedonians. The troops were ar- 
ranged according to their nations, under their own 
satraps, in the following manner: — 

On the left were the Bactrians, Dahse, Persians 
(horse and foot intermingled,) Suisans and Cadu- 
sians. These last touched the centre. 

On the right were the Syrians, Mesopotamians, 
Medes, Parthians, Sacse, Tapeiri, Hyrcanians, Al- 
banians, and Sacasense. The last touched the cen- 

The centre, commanded by Darius himself, was 
composed of the Royal Kinsmen, the Immortals, the 
Indians, the expatriated Carians, and the Mardian 

Behind, a second line was formed of the Uxians, 
Babylonians, Carmanians, and Sitacenians. In 
front of the left wing were drawn up 1,000 Bactrians, 
and all the Scythian cavalry, and 100 scythe-armed 
chariots. In front of Darius, and facing Alexan- 
der's royal troop of Companion cavalry, were placed 
15 elephants and 50 of the war-chariots. In front 
of the right wing were posted the Armenian and Cap- 
padocian cavalry, and 50 more of the chariots. The 
Greek mercenaries were drawn up on both sides of 
Darius, opposite to the Macedonian phalanx, as they 
alone were supposed capable of withstanding the 
charge of that formidable and dreaded body.* 

* In this battle Darius used the scythe-bearing chariots: 
{. e., battle chariots with sword-blades extending from the 
axles. Their value consisted more in the terror inspired by 
their appearance than in their real destructiveness. 


With this list of nations before us, it is absurd to 
impute the victories of Alexander to the effeminacy 
of the Medes and Persians. The bravest and har- 
diest tribes of Asia were in the field: Bactrians, 
Scythians, and Dahse, with their long lances, barbed 
steeds, and steel panoplies; Sacse and Parthians, 
mounted archers, whose formidable arrows proved in 
after ages so destructive to the legions of Rome; 
Armenians, Albanians, and Cadusians, whom the 
successors of Alexander failed to subdue ; and Uxian 
and Mardian mountaineers, unrivalled as light troops 
and skirmishers. Arrian computed their united 
numbers at 1,000,000 of infantry, and 40,000 cav- 
alry. Supposing the infantry did not exceed one- 
fourth of that number, there would still remain 
troops enough to bear down and trample the Mace- 
donians under foot. 

But the great mass was without an efficient head ; 
their nominal chief could not bring them to co-oper- 
ate, as there was no principle of cohesion between the 
different parts. The sole point of union was the 
royal standard: as long as that was visible in the 
front of battle, it cannot be said that the Persian 
satraps ever forgot their duty ; but if the king fell, or, 
still worse, if the king fled, all union was dissolved, 
all efforts against the enemy instantly ceased, and a 
safe retreat into his own province at the head of his 


own troops became the object of every satrap. In 
attaining this object no distinction was made be- 
tween friend and foe, all who obstructed the escape 
were indiscriminately treated as enemies. Cyrus 

Mt&t. 25.] BATTLE OF ARBELA. 155 

had betrayed the fatal secret to the Greeks, Xenophon 
had made it public, and Alexander proved the truth 
of the maxim, " if the commander in chief of an 
oriental army be killed or forced to fly, all is gained." 

The king's sleep was deeper and longer than usual 
on the morning of the decisive day ; nor did he awake 
till Parmenio entered his tent to announce that the 
troops were all under arms and expecting his pres- 
ence. Parmenio asked why he slept like a man who 
had already conquered, and not like one about to com- 
mence the greatest battle of which the world had 
hitherto heard ? Alexander smiled and said, " In 
what light can you look upon us but as conquerors, 
seeing we have no longer to traverse desolate coun- 
tries in pursuit of Darius, and he does not decline the 
combat % " 

Alexander was neither tall nor large, but, with 
more than ordinary power of limb, possessed great 
elegance of figure; the many portraits on coins yet 
extant, give assurance that his countenance was of 
the best models of masculine beauty ; his complexion 
was fair, with a tinge of red in his face ; his eye was 
remarkable for its quickness and vivacity, and defied 
imitation ; but a slight inclination of the head to one 
side, natural to him, was easily adopted by his cour- 
tiers, and even by many of his successors.* His 

* ''Alexander was of good stature and muscular, well-pro* 
portioned figure. He had the blonde type of the old Northmen 
Aryans, blue eyes and golden hair, which survived latest in 
Greece with the old aristocratic families. His skin, as 
Plutarch particularly emphasizes, was clear and white, with 


dress and arms on this memorable day are described 
by Plutarch, and deserve attention. He wore a 
short tnnic of the Sicilian fashion, girt close around 
him, over that a linen breast-plate, strongly quilted; 
his helmet, surmounted by the white plume, was of 
polished steel, the work of Theodectes ; the gorget was 
of the same metal and set with precious stones; his 
sword, his favorite weapon in battle, was a present 
from a Cyprian king, and not to be excelled for light- 
ness or temper; but his belt, deeply embossed with 
massy figures, was the most superb part of his armor ; 
it was given by the Phodians, and Helicon, at an ad- 
vanced age, had exerted all his skill in rendering it 
worthy of Alexander's acceptance ; if we add to these 
the shield, lance, and light greaves, we may form a 
fair idea of his appearance in battle. 

The army was drawn up in the following order: 
on the extreme right were the Companion cavalry, 
in eight strong divisions, under the immediate com- 
mand of Philotas; the right wing of the phalanx 
was commanded by Nicanor the son of Parmenio; 

ruddy hue on cheek and breast. A characteristic feature 
were the massy locks that rose up, mane-like from above the 
center of his forehead, and coupled with deep set eyes and 
heavy brows, gave his face the leonine look to which Plato 
refers. The upward glance of the eyes, which had the soft, 
melting, or, as the Greeks called it ' moist ' expression, that 
artists gave to the eyes of Venus and Bacchus, the strong, 
finely shaped, almost aquiline nose joined high to the fore- 
head, the sensitive, passionate lips, the prominent chin — 
these complete the picture that pen and chisel have left. 
That he was beautiful to look upon, all accounts agree." — ■ 
Benjamin Ide Wheeler, Alexander, p. 228. 

iEtat. 25.] BATTLE OF ARBELA. 157 

the left by Craterus; the cavalry of the left wing 
was composed of the Thessalians and Greek con- 
federates; Parmenio commanded the left, Alexander 
the right wing. This was the main battle. 

Behind the phalanx a second line of infantry was 
formed, with orders to face to the rear if any attack 
were made from that quarter. 

On the right flank of the main battle, and not in 
a line with it, but in deep column behind the royal 
troop of Companion cavalry, were placed half the 
Agrians, half the archers, and all the veteran merce- 
naries. The flank of this column was covered by the 
Prodromi, Pseonian, and mercenary cavalry, under 
the command of Aretas. Still more to their right 
Menidas commanded another body of mercenary 
cavalry. The left flank of the main battle was pro- 
tected in a similar manner, by the Thracians of Si- 
talces, the Odrysse, and detachments from the con- 
federate and mercenary cavalry. In front of the 
Companion cavalry were the rest of the Agrians and 
archers, and a body of javelin men. The number 
of Alexander's forces amounted to forty thousand 
infantry, and seven thousand cavalry. The neces- 
sity of the unusual arrangement of his troops is 
obvious from the circumstance that Alexander, on 
his own extreme right, was opposite Darius, who 
occupied the Persian centre. The Macedonian army 
was certain, in that great plain, of being enveloped 
within the folding wings of their adversaries. Hence 
it became necessary to be prepared for attack in front, 
On both flanks, and from the rear. 


Alexander, either to avoid the elephants and the 
scythe-armed chariots, or to turn the right of the 
Persian centre, did not lead his line straight for- 
wards but caused the whole to advance obliquely 
over the intervening ground. Darius and his army 
adopted a parallel movement. But as Alexander 
was thus rapidly edging off the ground, levelled for 
the use of the chariots, Darius ordered the Bactrians 
and Scythians, who were stationed in front of his 
left wing, to wheel round and attack the enemy's 
right flank, in order to prevent the extension of their 
line in that direction. Menidas and the mercenary 
cavalry rode forth to meet their charge, but were soon 
overpowered by the numbers of the enemy. Then all 
the cavalry under Aretas was ordered up to the sup- 
port of Menidas. These also were roughly handled, 
as the barbarians were not only in greater force, but 
the complete armor of the Scythians made it very 
difficult to make any impression upon them. The 
Macedonians, however, stood their repeated charges, 
and by keeping their own squadrons in close order, 
succeeded in driving them back. 

Then the chariots were driven against Alexander 
and the right wing of the phalanx. But these as 
usual, made no impression, for the greatest part of 
the horses and drivers were killed in the advance by 
the javelin men and the Agrians; who even ran 
between these once-dreaded machines, cut their traces, 
and speared the drivers. The few that reached the 
line were allowed to pass through to the rear, where 
they were easily captured by the grooms and royal 

iEtat. 25.] BATTLE OF ARBELA. 159 

attendants. Not a word is said of the operations of 
the elephants. Their attack must, therefore, have 
proved as unsuccessful as that of the chariots. 

The two main bodies were still at some distance, 
when Darius ordered his line to advance. Alexander 
observing this, commanded Aretas, with all the caval- 
ry and infantry of the flank column, to charge the 
left wing of the enemy, who were now wheeling 
round, while instead of meeting Darius with his line, 
he advanced in column, and as soon as his leading 
troops had broken through the first line of the barbar- 
ians, he directed the whole force of the Companion 
cavalry, and the right wing of the phalanx, to the 
open interval. There he pierced and divided the 
Persian line, and then attacked the left centre of 
Darius in flank. His great object was to break 
through the Kinsmen and Immortals, and reach that 
monarch. The close combat did not last long. The 
Persian cavalry were thronged, and in the press 
their missiles were of no avail against the Mace- 
donian lances. The infantry also broke and fled 
before the bristling pikes of the phalanx, which 
nothing could withstand on the levelled surface of 
the plain. Aretas and his troops were equally suc- 
cessful, and routed the enemy's left wing ; so that in 
this quarter the victory of the Macedonians was de- 
cisive. I wish it were possible to believe that Darius, 
as recorded by Curtius and Diodorus, behaved with 
courage and spirit. But the testimony of Arrian is 
explicit : — " Fearful as he was beforehand, he was 
the first to turn and fly." 



The result was by no means the same in other 
parts of the field. The three brigades, attached to 
the left wing, had not been able to accompany the rest 
of the phalanx, in the great charge, but had halted for 
the protection of the troops to the left, who were in 
great danger of being defeated. An immense gap 
was thus opened between the separated parts, and 
the Indians and the Persian cavalry passed unmo- 
lested through the interval, and reached the baggage 
where the army had slept the preceding night. The 
Persians slew many of the camp attendants, and were 
busied in plundering, when the second line of the 
phalanx faced round, attacked them in the rear, slew 
many, and compelled the rest to fly. 

The Persian right wing, where the Sacse, the Al- 
banians, and Parthians were stationed, wheeled to 
the left at the beginning of the battle, and attacked 
Parmenio on every side. Their success at one time 
was so decided, that the veteran general was forced 
to dispatch a messenger, in order to inform Alexander 
of his dangerous situation, and of the necessity of 
instant aid. One great object of Alexander's ambi- 
tion was to capture the Persian monarch on the field 
of battle; and that object, at the moment he received 
the message, was apparently within his grasp; but 
he did not hesitate between his duty and inclination, 
and instantly ceased from the pursuit, and with the 
Companion cavalry galloped towards the enemy's 
right wing. He had not proceeded far when he met 
the Persian and Parthian cavalry in full retreat. It 
was impossible for them to avoid the contest, and a 

JEtat. 25.] BATTLE OF ARBELA. 161 

desperate engagement took place. The Persians and 
Parthians fought manfully, when not the victory, 
but their own lives, were the stake, and many of them 
broke through the Macedonian squadrons and con- 
tinued their flight without turning round. In this 
encounter sixty of the Companion cavalry were 
killed, and Hephsestion, Coenus, and Menidas, 

In the meantime, the Thessalian cavalry, already, 
perhaps, feeling the benefit of the king's victory in 
the relaxed efforts of their assailants, renewed their 
exertions, and Alexander arrived in time to witness 
their final charge and the enemy's flight. He imme- 
diately turned round and resumed the pursuit of 
Darius. At the bridge, over the Lycus, night over- 
took him. There he rested for a few hours, and 
again setting out at midnight, in the course of the 
following day reached Arbela, forty miles from the 
field of battle. Darius, however, was not there, 
but all his treasures and equipage fell into the victor's 
hands, and a second chariot, bow, and spear, were 
added to the former trophies. 

Thus terminated this famous battle, the success of 
which was principally due to the gallantry of the 
Companion cavalry and Alexander himself. We 
have no means of ascertaining their number, but it 
is evident that it had been much increased since the 
last battle. Their labor and consequent fatigue 
were enormous, and they alone lost five hundred 
horses from wounds or over-exertion. 

It would be idle to speak of the number of men 


who fell on both sides. Perhaps we may infer from 
Arrian, that a hundred Macedonians of rank were 
slain. As the Lvcus was not fordable, and Alex- 
ander obtained early possession of the bridge, the 
whole Persian army was evidently at his mercy. 
Hence Arrian, who estimates the Persian loss of lives 
at three hundred thousand, states the number of 
prisoners to have been far greater. Their king had 
brought them into such a position between the river 
Tigris, the Gordysean mountains and the Lycus, that 
they had no choice between victory and death, or 

Darius fled from the field of battle, not down the 
Tigris towards Babylon, but across Mount Zagrus, 
probably by the pass of Kerrund. He was joined in 
his flight by the Bactrians, two thousand Greek mer- 
cenaries, and the surviving remains of the Royal 

* The battle called by the name of Arbela, was really 
fought near the village of Gaugamela, some fifty miles to the 
southwest of the city of Arbela. Resulting in the complete 
overthrow of Darius and the transference of ascendancv from 
the Persian to the Macedonian empire, it is rightly classed by 
Creasy as one of the " Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World." 
The entire empire had been scoured to furnish Darius with 
the enormous army of a million men : " the remotest nations 
and tribes had furnished their contingents — Scythia, Bactria, 
and Sogdiana ; Arachosia, Arabia, and Armenia." The army 
of Alexander, on the other hand, fell a trifle short of 50,000. 
As in other battles of ancient times, the disproportion of loss 
between the victors and the defeated was enormous. Alex- 
ander lost less than 500, while the loss of Darius was reported, 
as given above, at 300,000, while more cautious writers esti- 
mate his losses at from 40,000 to 90,000. The proportion of 
loss was doubtless considerably above one hundred to one. 

jEtat. 25.] ECBATANA. 163 

Kinsmen and body guard. These formed an escort 
strong enough to conduct him to Ecbatana. He did 
not dread an immediate pursuit, as Babylon and 
Susa would naturally attract the first notice of the 

Alexander marched from Arbela, and in four days 
arrived at a town called Memmis by Curtius, Ecba- 
tana by Plutarch. There he viewed and admired 
the perpetual flames which from time immemorial 
have issued from a gulf or cavern in the vicinity of 
the modern Kerkook.* The place was also remark- 
able for its fountain of liquid naphtha, of so combus- 
tible a nature, that the Greeks concluded it was the 
fabled drug with which Medea anointed the robes that 
proved fatal to the Corinthian princess. The natives, 
eager to show its powers to the foreigner, formed 
a long train in front of the king's lodgings and as soon 
as it was dark set fire to one end, when the whole 
street burst into an instantaneous blaze. Such spots 
were highly venerated by the worshippers of fire. 
Near the burning fountain were built a temple in 
honor of the great Persian goddess Anaitis, and a 
palace, once the favorite residence of Darius, the son 
of Hystaspes. 

Thence he advanced through a submissive country 
to Babylon, the imperial seat of Semiramis and Ne- 
buchadnezzar. This mighty city had once given law 
to all the nations of the East, but was now rapidly 
declining in wealth and importance, and the marshes 
of the Euphrates were yearly recovering their 

* About 90 miles southeast of Mosul, Asiatic Turkey. 


lost dominions. The Persians had been severe task- 
masters to their more civilized neighbors. Cyrus 
had treated them kindly, but the rebellion against 
the first Darius had been followed with heavy penal- 
ties, and the partial destruction of their massy forti- 
fications. His son Xerxes proved a tyrant to them, 
he plundered their shrines, slew the chief priest of 
Belus, took away the golden statue of their god, and 
partly destroyed his great pyramidical temple. When 
Herodotus visited the city about one hundred and 
twenty years before Alexander, he found all the signs 
of a declining and falling people. 

The Babylonians, therefore, hailed the change of 
masters with joy, and poured forth in crowds to meet 
the conqueror. Mazaeus, the Persian satrap, and 
the military commander of the citadel, headed the 
procession. The Chaldseans, in their sacred robes, 
and the native chiefs, followed in order; and all 
according to the customs of the East, bore presents 
in their hands. The first care of Alexander was to 
restore the shrines destroyed by Xerxes, and even to 
rebuild the temple of Belus in all its original magni- 
ficence. The immense revenues attached to its estab- 
lishments by the piety of the Assyrian kings were 
restored to the priests, to whom the management of 
the funds, and the superintendence of the building, 
were entrusted. He then offered a sacrifice to Jupiter 
Belus, according to the regular forms of the Chal- 
dean religion. 

Mazaus was restored to his satrapy, but his author- 
ity was limited to the civil government, and the 

-ffitat. 25.J ENTRANCE INTO BABYLON. 165 

administration of justice. The command of the 
troops and the receipt of the revenue were entrusted 
to two Macedonians. 

Having arranged the affairs of Assyria, and its 
dependant provinces, Alexander marched eastward 
to Susa. Thither he had dispatched one of his offi- 
cers from the field of battle. On the road he met a 
deputation, accompanied by the son of the Susian 
satrap, who bore a letter from the Macedonian officer, 
announcing the important intelligence, that the Su- 
sians were ready to surrender their city and citadel, 
and that the treasures were in safe custody. 

Abulites the satrap came forth to meet Alexander 
on the banks of the Choaspes, the modern Kerah, 
and conducted him into the most ancient palace of 
the monarchs of Asia. This had been a favorite seat 
of the Persian dynasty, on account of its central situ- 
ation between Persia, Media, and Assyria, nor had 
Persepolis or Pasargada been more favored with their 
presence and regard. Its citadel was a gaza, or 
treasury, where the surplus revenues of Asia had been 
accumulating for ages. According to Herodotus, all 
the coin that remained, after defraying the regular 
expenses of the year, was melted into earthen jars. 
When the metal had cooled, the jars were broken, 
and the bullion placed in the treasury. Again, when 
the annual disbursements exceeded the regular in- 
come, or some extraordinary expenses from war or 
other causes took place, bullion, according to the 
emergency, was recoined and sent to circulate through 
the provinces. Alexander found fifty thousand 


talents of silver* thus treasured up in the citadel of 
Susa. Three thousand of these were immediately 
sent to the sea-coast, in order to be forwarded to 
Antipater, for the expenses of the Lacedaemonian 
war, and the pacification of Greece. The same sum, 
wisely expended by Darius at the commencement of 
the war, would have retained Alexander to the west of 
the Hellespont. 

The conqueror drew a strong line of difference 
between the Susians and the nations hitherto visited 
by him. He paid no honors to the indigenous gods, 
but celebrated his arrival with Grecian sacrifices, 
gymnastic games, and the lamp race.f Probably he 
regarded the Susians as a component part of the 
dominant tribes of Media and Persia, whose suprem- 
acy it was his object to overthrow. The Susians, 
originally called Cissians and Cossseans, were a peace- 
ful people, described, since history has recorded facts, 
as always subject to the ruling nation. But, accord- 
ing to their own traditions, their monarch, in the 
Homeric ages, was the king of kings, and their city 
was the capital of Tithonus, whose ever-blooming 
bride was Aurora, destined to witness the gradual 
decay and imbecility, not only of her once youthful 
husband, but of many successive dynasties of the' 
lords of the East. Their citadel, in the days of 
iEschylus and Herodotus, still bore the name of 
Memnoneium, and these two great antiquaries, as 
well as Strabo, regard the Susians or Cissians as pos- 

* The Attic silver talent was worth about $1,000. 
f See p. 124, note. 

JStat. 25.] SUSA— DANIEL. 167 

sessing a far better right than the Egyptians to claim 
the dark-visaged auxiliary of Priam as their country- 

At Susa also, in the gardens of the palace and on 
the banks of the Ulai or Choaspes, the Prophet Daniel 
had seen those visions which so clearly describe the 
career of Alexander, and the destruction of the Per- 
sian empire. Nor is it the least striking circumstance 
connected with the history of Susa, that — when her 
citadel has tumbled into dust — when her palaces have 
disappeared — when the long lines of Persian, Greek, 
Parthian, and numerous other dynasties have passed 
away, and left not a vestige of their magnificence 
and glory to attest their former existence — a small 
temple still commemorates the burial-place of 
Daniel, and the wilderness of Shus is annually visited 
by thousands of Israelites, who, from the remotest 
periods, have ceased not their pilgrimages to the tomb 
of the Prophet. 

Aristagoras the Milesian, when exciting the Spar- 
tan king to invade Persia, had concluded his picture 
by saying, " When you have taken Susa, you may vie 
with Jupiter himself in wealth." Nor were the 
Macedonians disappointed; for, in addition to the 
gold and silver, they found other valuables of inesti- 
mable price. But, what was as gratifying to Alex- 
ander's own feelings, he there found many of the 
trophies which Xerxes had carried away from 
Greece; — among others, the bronze statues of Har- 
modius and Aristogeiton, the supposed liberators of 
Athens. He selected these as the most appropriate 


present for the Athenians. They returned in safety 
to their original pedestals, where they still remained 
in the days of Arrian. The fact is worth being 
recorded, because it both proves that Xerxes was an 
admirer of the fine arts, and that Alexander was in 
his own conscience so guiltless of a wish to tyrannize, 
that he scrupled not to honor these celebrated tyranni- 

Abulites was re-appointed satrap, and a Macedo- 
nian garrison and governor left in the citadel. His 
next march was against Persia Proper, which hence- 
forward I shall distinguish bv its Grecian name 
Persis. He set out from Susa, and crossed first the 
Coprates, the modern Abzal, and then the Pasi-tigris, 
the modern Karoon, both large and navigable 
rivers. On crossing the latter, in the vicinity of 
the modern Sinister, he entered the Uxian territory. 
The Uxians of the plain were a peaceful race, who 
lived in obedience to the laws of the empire. But 
their kinsmen of the hills were robbers and warriors. 
The royal road between Susa and Persepolis passed 
through a defile in their possession. The command 
of this had enabled them to make the great king trib- 
utary, and a certain sum was regularly paid to these 
bandits, whenever the king passed from one capital 
to the other. They now sent a message to Alexander, 
announcing that he should not pass unless he paid 
the customary gratuity. He told them brieflv " to 
attend next day at the defile, and receive their due." 

As soon as the messengers had departed, he took 
his guards and eight thousand chosen infantry, and 

-ffitat. 25.] MARCH INTO PERSIS. 169 

entered into the mountain gorges. Craterus was 
ordered to conduct the rest of the army along the 
royal road. Alexander, guided by Susians, arrived 
by night at the chief villages of the Uxians, and 
surprised the inhabitants in their beds. Many of 
these were slain, a few escaped up the mountains, and 
their flocks and herds were driven away. Thence he 
hurried to the pass, where the Uxians had assembled 
their whole effective force. They were panic-struck 
on seeing Alexander coming from the hills upon their 
rear, and the main army at the same time advancing 
along the road, and broke and fled in all directions. 
Some were killed, others threw themselves over prec- 
ipices, and all were taught in a very short time that 
the sovereignty of Asia had passed into very dif- 
ferent hands. It was not without difficulty that they 
were allowed to retain their mountain fastnesses, on 
engaging to pay a tribute. Ptolemy adds, that they 
owed their safety to Sysigambis, the mother of 
Darius, who interfered in their behalf. Did the 
present rulers of Central Asia behave with the spirit 
and decision of Alexander, some hopes might be 
entertained of the civilization of that part of the 
world, the inhabitants of which form only two great 
divisions, the robber and the robbed — the bandits 
of the desert and the mountains, and the half -starved 
cultivators of the plains. 

The geography of Persis * is peculiar and strongly 

* Persis, the nucleus of the Persian empire, was situated in 
the southwestern part of modern Persia, bordering on the 


marked. From Media it is separated by the contin- 
uous ridge of Mount Zagrus, and from its own sea- 
coast by another nameless ridge, which, parting from 
Mount Zagrus near the sources of the river Tab, takes 
a south-eastern direction, and breaks into numerous 
branches before it enters Carmania. The country 
inclosed between these two ridges was, from its posi- 
tion, called Coele, or Hollow Persis, and formed the 
most fertile district of the kingdom. Its vales were 
numerous, and these were irrigated by various 
streams, of which the principal were the Medus, the 
Araxes, and the Cyrus. The Medus and Araxes, 
flowing down from different parts of Mount Zagrus, 
united their streams, and, after passing under the 
walls of Persepolis, were either expended in the 
irrigation of the great vale, or, as at present, dis- 
charged their waters into an inland lake. The 
Cyrus has not yet been identified with any modern 
stream, but will be found, according to ancient 
authorities, considerably to the east of Persepolis. 
In Alexander's time, two roads appear to have 
existed between Susiana and Persis, one leading to 
the sea-coast, and thence turning to the left across 
the nameless ridge into the great vale, the other fol- 
lowing the course of the modern Tab up to the strong 
pass called by the ancients the Persian Gates, by the 
moderns Kelat SufTeed, (the Castle of the Daemons). 
Parmenio with the baggage was ordered to take the 

Persian Gulf. It included the vicinity of the modern city of 
Shiraz, and very nearly corresponded to the modern province 
of Faristan. 

JEtat. 25.] GATES OF PERSIS. 171 

lower road, while Alexander with the effective force 
marched to the Gates. 

Persis was wealthy and populous, and the inhab- 
itants must have been aware that the invader had 
in deed and word distinguished their case from that 
of the subject nations. According to this distinc- 
tion, the Persians alone had been guilty of all the 
outrages against Greece. They, as the dominant 
power, had assembled their slaves, and driven them 
forwards to the work of destruction. They were, 
therefore, personal enemies, and to be humbled as 
well as subdued. The satrap Ariobarzanes, there- 
fore, had no difficulty in arming forty thousand men 
for the defence of the passes. 

These are defended at one point by a lofty rock, 
abrupt and precipitous on all sides. The summit is 
a small plain, supplied with copious springs, and 
impregnable if faithfully defended. These Gates, 
and the hills on both sides, were occupied by the 
satrap's forces, and a fortified camp commanded the 
narrowest gorge. Alexander marched into the defile, 
i and reached the foot of the rock. Then Ariobarzanes 
gave the signal for attack, and the Macedonians were 
overwhelmed with stones and missiles of every de- 
scription, not only from the front, but also from both 
flanks. The success of the Persians was for the time 
complete, and their enemies retired before them for 
the space of nearly four miles. 

Alexander then summoned a council, and examined 
prisoners as to the existence of any road by which the 
pass could be turned. Some were found who prom- 


ised to guide the army, by mountain paths and 
precipitous ways, into the plain of Persis. The 
king's plans were soon formed. He ordered Craterus, 
with the main body, to encamp at the mouth of the 
pass, and to make a vigorous attack from the front, 
as soon as he should understand, from the sound of 
the trumpets, that the king had gained the rear. With 
the evening twilight he led out the rest of his troops, 
entered the mountains, and, having followed the 
guides for six miles, sent Amyntas, Philotas, and 
Ccenus forward, with orders to descend into the plain, 
and throw a bridge over the river, which, he under- 
stood, intervened between the pass and Persepolis. 
Then putting himself at the head of the guards, the 
brigade of Perdiccas, the most active archers and 
Agrians, and the royal troop of the Companion 
cavalry he turned to the right over high mountains 
and difficult paths, and in succession surprised three 
posts of the enemy, without allowing a single individ- 
ual to escape in the direction of the satrap's camp. 

At break of day he found himself in the rear of 
the pass and of the fortified camp. He attacked 
and carried the latter with his usual impetuosity, 
and drove out the Persians — surprised and panic- 
struck, and more anxious to fly than eager to -fight. In 
front they were met by Craterus, and driven back 
upon Alexander, who pressed close upon their rear. 
In their despair they attempted to regain their camp, 
but this was already occupied by Ptolemy, the son of 
Lagus, with three thousand men. Hemmed in, there- 
fore, on all sides, the greater part were cut to pieces. 

JEt&t. 25.] FATE OF PERSEPOLIS. 173 

A few, with Ariobarzanes, escaped up the sides of 
the mountains. It is not mentioned that the rock was 
taken ; probably it was deserted in the general panic, 
or surrendered to the victor when its further defence 
could have no rational object. 

On the road between the defiles and Persepolis, 
the King met a messenger from Tiridates, the gov- 
ernor, desiring him to hasten his advance, as the 
Persian soldiers were threatening to plunder the 
royal treasury. Thither, therefore, he hurried at 
the head of his cavalry, found the bridge across the 
river completed, and reached Persepolis in time to 
save the treasures. 

According to Diodorus and Curtius, the city, with 
the exception of the palace, was given up to the Mace- 
donians, who plundered it with all the licence usually 
granted to soldiers when towns are taken by storm. 
The palace, according to Arrian, was deliberately 
committed to the flames, to avenge the destruction of 
Athens, the conflagration of the temples of the Gre- 
cian gods, and the other evils inflicted by Xerxes on 
Greece. Parmenio attempted in vain to dissuade 
the king from the commission of this outrage. Among 
other arguments, he represented how unseemly it was 
in him to destroy his own property, and how such 
conduct must naturally incline the Asiatic nations 
to regard him more as a passing depredator than as 
their future and permanent sovereign ; but the spirit 
of Achilles predominated over the voice of justice, 
generosity, and prudence, and the palace of the 
Achaemenidse, at the gates of which the deputies of 


a hundred nations used to bow and listen to theii 
destiny, was reduced to ashes.* 

* The story of the burning of the royal palace at Per- 
sepolis is narrated by Plutarch as follows : ' ' When Alex- 
ander was about to set forth from this place against Darius, 
he joined with hisomcersat an entertainment of drinking and 
other pastimes, and indulged so far as to let every one's mis- 
tress sit by and drink with them. The most celebrated of 
them was Thais, an Athenian, mistress of Ptolemy, who was 
afterwards king of Egypt. She, partly as a sort of well turned 
compliment to Alexander, partly out of sport as the drinking 
went on, at last was carried so far as to utter a saying, not 
misbecoming her native country's character, though some- 
what too lofty for her own condition. She said it was indeed 
some recompense for the toils she had undergone in following 
the camp all over Asia, that she was that day reveling in, and 
could insult over, the stately palace of the Persian monarchs. 
But, she added, it would please her much better if, while the 
king looked on, she might in sport, with her own hands, set 
fire to the court of Xerxes who reduced the city of Athens to 
ashes, that it might be recorded to posterity, that the women 
who followed Alexander had taken a severer revenge on the 
Persians for the sufferings and affronts of Greece, than all the 
famed commanders had been able to do by sea or land. 

What she said was received with such universal liking and 
murmurs of applause, and so seconded by the encouragement 
and eagerness of the company, that the king himself, per- 
suaded to be of the party, started from his seat, and with a 
chaplet of flowers on his head, and a lighted torch in his hand, 
led them the way, while they went after him in a riotous 
manner, dancing and making loud cries about the place ; 
which when the rest of the Macedonians perceived, they also 
in great delight ran thither with torches ; for they hoped the 
burning and destruction of the royal palace was an indication 
that he looked homeward, and had no design to reside among 
the barbarians. Thus some writers give their account of this 


It is impossible to say whether the after tale of 
the revelry and excess, and of the influence of the 
Athenian Thais, in producing this catastrophe, was 
invented as a palliation or exaggeration of the 
monarch's conduct. By the Greeks at home the action 
would be hailed as a deed of laudable vengeance and 
retributive justice, but perhaps it was wisdom to 
whisper among the Eastern nations that it sprung 
from the wild excess and excitement of the moment, 
and not from the cool and deliberate resolution of 
their conqueror. 

Previous to the destruction of the palace, the 
victor entered it, and examined the whole with the 
care and attention justly due to the taste and mag- 
nificence displayed in its erection. He entered the 
presence chamber — and seated himself on the throne 
of the king of kings. There can be no doubt that 
such a sight must have been a source of the greatest 
pride and exultation to every Greek who possessed 
a single spark of national feeling. Demaratus, the 
Corinthian, who was one of the royal Companions 
then present, burst into tears, with the exclamation, 
" What a pleasure have the Greeks missed who died 
without seeing Alexander on the throne of Darius ! " 

At the entrance of the palace stood a colossal statue 
of Xerxes. This, probably by the Greek soldiers, 
had been thrown down from its pedestal, and lay 
neglected on the ground. Alexander, on passing it, 

action, while others 'says it was done deliberately ; however, 
all agree that he soon repented of it, and gave orders to put out 
the fire." 


stopped and addressed it, as if it had been alive, 
" Shall we leave yon in this condition on account of 
the war yon made upon Greece, or raise yon again 
for the sake of your magnanimity and other vir- 
tues ? " He stood a long time as if deliberating which 
he should do, then passed on, and left it as it was. 
Both these anecdotes are given by Plutarch. 

The ruins of the palace of Persepolis are still to 
be seen near Istakar, on the right bank of the united 
waters of the Medus and Araxes. Travellers speak 
of them with admiration — not unmixed with awe. 
Many pillars still remain standing, a melancholy 
monument of the wealth, taste, and civilization of 
the Persians, and, in this instance, of the barbarian 
vengeance of the Greek. 

The winter had already set in, but the activity 
of Alexander was not to be repressed; at the head 
of a chosen detachment he invaded the mountain 
tribes, known by the names of Cosssei, Mardi, and 
Paroetacse, pursued them into their hill villages 
during the most inclement season of the year, and 
thus compelled them to submit to his authority. 

He also visited Pasargada, built by the elder 
Cyrus, on the spot where he had finally defeated the 
Median Astyages. The treasures and citadel were 
delivered up without resistance, and made the third 
gaza which fell into his hands. Conscious that he 
had not treated the inhabitants of Persis like a gen- 
erous conqueror, he did not venture to leave the treas- 
ures within the province. An immense train of 
baggage-horses were therefore laden with the spoils 


of Persepolis and Pasargada, and attended the mo- 
tions of the army, which, after remaining four 
months in Persis, set forward again in pursuit of 

That monarch had hitherto lingered at Ecbatana, 
where, instead of manfully preparing to renew the 
contest, he had been indulging idle hopes that some 
untoward accident might befall Alexander in his 
visits to Babylon and Susa, and in his conquest of 




Alexander advanced from Persepolis, and on the 
road heard that the Cadusians and Scythians were 
marching to the assistance of Darius, who, accord- 
ing to the report, was to meet the Macedonians and 
give them battle. On hearing this, he separated his 
effective force from the long train of baggage that 
attended him, and in twelve days entered Media ; 
here he learned that the report respecting the Cadu- 
sians and Medians was false, and that Darius was 
preparing to fly to the Upper Provinces. On this he 
quickened his pace, and when within three days' 
march of Ecbatana, met Bisthanes, the son of Ochus, 
the late king ; from him he received certain infor- 
mation that Darius had commenced his flight five 
days before, with 6,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, and 
with 7,000 talents taken from the Median treasury. 

Alexander soon after entered Ecbatana, the modern 
Ispahan,* and the capital of the second imperial na- 
tion of Asia. This city, like Persepolis, is situated 
on a river that finds no exit into the sea, but is lost in 

* This city, once populous, now contains only about 60.000 
inhabitants. It is famed for its Great Mosque, erected in the 
16th century. Its fabrics are highly prized. 


JEtat. 26.] ECBATANA. 179 

sandy deserts. Its own natural stream was too 
scanty to supply the great plain through which it 
flowed and the wants of the rising city. Semiramis, 
therefore, or one of those great Assyrian monarchs, 
whose names have perished, but whose works remain, 
had with incredible labor, and by perforating a moun- 
tain, conducted a much larger river into the plain. 
This, at present, is called the Helmund. The spot 
where the rock is perforated is about three days' 
journey to the south-west of Ispahan. The climate 
of this capital is most delightful and healthy. The 
hottest day in summer is tempered by the mountain 
breezes, and instead of relaxing, braces the human 
frame ; hence it was the favorite summer residence 
of the ancient monarchs, from the elder Cyrus to the 
last of the Sassanidse. The plain on which it is sit- 
uated is unrivalled for its fertility, and capable of 
supplying a countless population with abundant 
provisions. Polybius describes the city as infinitely 
surpassing its sister capitals in wealth and magnifi- 
cence ; and Herodotus writes, that the citadel alone, 
within which was inclosed the palace of Dejoces, the 
founder of the second Median monarchy, was equal 
in circumference to Athens. 

Here terminated the services of the Thessalian and 
Confederate cavalry, that had served Alexander with 
so much valor, fidelity, and success. In addition to 
their full pay and to the booty accumulated during 
the four campaigns, they received, as a further proof 
of their leader's approbation of their conduct, a 
gratuity of 2,000 talents to be divided among theou 


Their war-horses were purchased by the king, and a 
body of cavalry appointed to escort them to the sea- 
coast, whence they were to be conveyed in ships to 
Euboea. Liberty was given to all who might wish to 
enter the Macedonian service, and many preferred 
the dangers and excitements of a warrior's life to the 
comforts of a peaceful and wealthy home. 

Six thousand Macedonians and a strong body of 
horse were left in garrison at Ecbatana. The treas- 
ures of Persepolis and Pasargada, were deposited by 
Parmenio, in the citadel, and entrusted to the care of 
Harpalus. Parmenio, after arranging affairs at 
Ecbatana, was ordered to lead the mercenaries, the 
Thracians, and all the cavlary but the Companions, 
by a circuitous route, through the territory of the 
Cadusians into Hyrcania. 

Alexander himself, with the Companion cavalry, 
the greater part of the phalanx, the archers, and the 
Agrians, went in pursuit of Darius. Two roads lead 
from Ispahan to the north-eastern provinces of the 
empire, one through Yezd, and thence along the east- 
ern edge of the Great Desert into Khorasan ; the 
other, which is most frequented, through Kashan or 
JSTatunz, along the western edge of the Great Desert, 
to the pass of Khawar (the Caspian gates), and 
thence along the southern foot of Mount Taurus into 

As Darius was conveying a heavy treasure with 
him along this latter road, Alexander entertained a 
hope that he might be able to overtake him before he 
reached the gates. He pressed forwards, therefore, 

Mtzt. 26.] PURSUIT OF DARIUS. 181 

with extraordinary rapidity, so that net only a great 
part of the infantry were compelled to fall behind, 
but many horses perished from fatigue and heat. In 
eleven days he reached Rhagae, placed by Strabo 
about thirty miles south of the Caspian gates, and 
consequently not to be confounded with the Key of the 
middle ages, which is more than fifty miles to the 
northwest of them. Here he was informed that 
Darius had already passed the defile. Despairing, 
therefore, of overtaking him with his tired troops, he 
halted Hve days at Rhagae, to refresh his army and 
reassemble the stragglers. During his short stay he 
appointed a Persian nobleman, by name Oxydates, to 
be satrap of the important province of Media. Alex- 
ander had found him a prisoner in the citadel of Susa, 
and this very dubious test was looked upon as a 
sufficient recommendation for his fidelity at least. 

He resumed his march, and in the course of the 
second day passed through the Caspian gates, and 
reached the edge of a small desert to the east of them. 
Here he had halted, and parties had been sent in dif- 
ferent directions to procure forage and provisions, 
when Bagistanes, a Babylonian nobleman, and Anti- 
belus, the son of Mayaeus, came and informed him 
that Xabarzanes, the commander of the royal guards, 
the satraps. Bessus, of Bactria, Barsaentes, of the 
Drangae, Brazas, of the Arachosians, and Satibar- 
zanes, of Areia, had seized the person of their sover- 
eign and were keeping him in confinement. 

Alexander, without a moment's delay, or even 
waiting for the return of the foraging parties, se- 


lected the ablest and most active of the infantry, and 
with these and the Companion cavalry, bearing noth- 
ing with them but their arms and two days' provis- 
ions, hastened forward to rescue, if possible, the un- 
happy Darius from the hands of traitors. The party 
marched all night, and did not halt till next day at 
noon. With the night they again resumed their 
march, and with the dawn reached the spot where 
Bagistanes had left the satraps encamped. Here he 
procured further information, that Darius was con- 
fined in a covered wagon, and Bessus recognized as 
chief, by the Bactrian cavalry and all the barbarians 
— except the Persian Artabazus and his sons, who, 
together with the Greek mercenaries, had remained 
faithful, but being too weak to prevent the treason, 
had separated from the traitors, and retired to the 
mountains on the left ; that the supposed plans of 
the conspirators were, if Alexander pursued closely, 
to deliver Darius and thus obtain favor — but if he 
did not, to assemble all the forces they could collect, 
and assert the independence of their several satrapies 
— in the meantime obeying Bessus as their leader. 

Alexander reposed for the whole of that day at the 
place where he procured this information, for both 
men and horses were exhausted by the continued 
exertions. At night the march was again resumed, 
and continued until the next day at noon, when they 
arrived at a village, where the satraps had encamped 
during the preceding day, for they also marched by 
night. Here he questioned the inhabitants, whether 
there were no shorter road than the one along which! 

iEtat. 26.] DEATH OF DARIUS. 183 

the enemy was proceeding, and heard that there was, 
but across a desert and without water. He imme- 
diately ordered guides, and as the foot could no longer 
keep up with him, he dismounted 500 of the cavalry 
and gave their horses to the same number of infantry 
officers and others, distinguished for their strength 
and agility : these men were, of course, to act again 
as foot-soldiers, should such service become necessary. 
ISTicanor and Attains were ordered to select the most 
active of the remaining troops, and to pursue the 
enemy along the main road, while the main body, 
under Craterus, was to follow slowly and in battle 

The king himself, with the Companion cavalry, 
and mounted infantry, set out early in the evening, 
advanced five-and-twenty miles during the night, and 
at break of day had the satisfaction of seeing the 
troops of the satrap marching in disorder, and mostly 
without their arms. The very sight of Alexander put 
the greater number to flight, and when a few of those 
who offered resistance had been cut down, all fled. 
Bessus and his companions attempted for a time to 
hurry forward the vehicle in which the unfortunate 
Darius was confined ; but, on discovering that the 
victor was rapidly gaining upon them, Barsaentes 
and Satibarzanes wounded him fatally, and left him 
to expire by the road-side. He had breathed his 
last before Alexander came up, who thus lost an 
opportunity of showing how generously he could 
treat his rival, when fortune had decided the contest 
in his favor. The assassination took place in the 


month of July, B. C. 330, and the scene was probably 
the plain to the southwest of the modern Damgan. 
Arrian's estimate of the character of Darius is, in 
my opinion, so judicious, that I shall content myself 
with translating it freely.* 

* " As soon as Bessus and his company fonnd that their 
pursuers were close upon them, they attempted at first to 
hurry forward, in the vain hope of still effecting their escape. 
Darius was in a chariot. They urged this chariot on, but it 
moved heavily. Then they concluded to abandon it; and they 
called upon Darius to mount a horse and ride off with them, 
leaving the rest of the army and the baggage to its fate. But 
Darius refused. He said he would rather trust himself in the 
hands of Alexander than in those of such traitors as they. 
Rendered desperate by their situation, and exasperated by 
this reply, Bessus and his confederates thrust their spears into 
Darius' body, as he sat in his chariot, and then galloped away. 
They divided into different parties, each taking a different 
road. Their object in doing this was to increase their chances 
of escape by confusing Alexander in his plans for pursuing 
them. Alexander pressed on toward the ground which the 
enemy were abandoning, and sent off separate detachments 
after the various divisions of the flying army. . . . 

The Macedonians searched about in various places, thinking 
it possible that, in the sudden dispersion of the enemy, Darius 
might have been left behind. At last the chariot in whicli lie 
was lying was found. Darius was in it, pierced with spears. 
The floor of the chariot was covered with blood. They raised 
him a little and he spoke. He called for water. Men wounded 
and dying on the field of battle are tormented always with an 
insatiable and intolerable thirst. . . . Darius was suffering 
this thirst. . . . His first cry, when his enemies came around 
him with shouts of exultation, was not for his life, not for 
mercy, not for relief from the pain and anguish of his wounds 
— he begged them to give him some water. ... 

M A Macedonian soldier went immediately to get some. . . , 

Mint. 26.] DEATH OF DARIUS. 185 

" This (says he) was the end of Darius, who, as 
a warrior, was singularly remiss and injudicious. 
In other respects his character is blameless, either 
because he was just by nature, or because he had no 

Darius received the drink. He then said that he was ex- 
tremely glad that they had an interpreter with them, who 
could understand him and bear his message to Alexander. He 
had been afraid that he should have had to die without being 
able to communicate what he had to say. 'Tell Alexander,' 
said he, then, ' that I feel under the strongest obligations to 
him, which I can now never repay, for his kindness to my 
wife, my mother, and my children. He not only spared their 
lives, but treated them with the greatest consideration and 
care, and did all in his power to make them happy. The last 
feeling in my heart is gratitude to him for these favors. I 
hope now that he will go on prosperously, and finish his con- 
quests as triumphantly as he has begun them.' He would 
have made one last request, he added, if he had thought it 
necessary, and that was that Alexander would pursue the 
traitor Bessus, and avenge the murder he had committed ; but 
he was sure that Alexander would do this of his own accord, 
as the punishment of such treachery was an object of common 
interest for every king. 

" Darius then took Poly stratus, the Macedonian who had 
brought him the water, by the hand, saying : ' Give Alexander 
thy hand as I now give thee mine ; it is the pledge of my grati- 
tude and affection.' Darius was too weak to say much more. 
. . . He sank gradually and soon ceased to breathe. Alex- 
ander came up a few minutes after all was over. He was at 
first shocked at the spectacle before him, and then over- 
whelmed with grief. He wept bitterly. . . . He immedi- 
ately made arrangements for having the body embalmed, and 
then sent it to Susa, for Sysigambis, in a very costly coffin, 
and with a procession of royal magnificence." — Abbott. 

For the vengeance Alexander took upon Bessus for his as- 
sassination, see the following chapter, p. 202. 


opportunity of displaying the contrary, as his acces- 
sion and the Macedonian invasion were simultaneous. 
It was not in his power, therefore, to oppress his 
subjects, as his danger was greater than theirs. His 
reign was one unbroken series of disasters. First 
occurred the defeat of his satraps in the cavalry en- 
gagement on the Granicus, then the loss of ^Eolia, 
Ionia, both Phrygias, Lydia, Caria, and the whole 
maritime coast as far as Cilicia ; then his own 
defeat at Issus, followed by the capture of his mother, 
wife, and children, and by the loss of Phoenicia and 
all Egypt. At Arbela, he was the first to commence 
a disgraceful flight, where he lost an innumerablo 
army, composed of barbarians of almost every race. 
Thenceforth he wandered from place to place, a fugi- 
tive in his own empire, until he was at last miserably 
betrayed by his own retinue, and loaded, king of 
kings as he was, with ignominy and chains. Finally 
he was treacherously assassinated by his most inti- 
mate connections. Such was the fortune of Darius 
while living. After his death he was buried with 
royal honors, his children were brought up and edu- 
cated by Alexander — in the same manner as if their 
father had been still king, and the conqueror married 
his daughter. At his death he was about fifty years 

Alexander then entered Hecatompylos, the ancient 
capital of Parthia Proper. It received its Greek 
name from being the centre where many roads met, 
and is probably the modern Damgan. Here he rested 
until he had re-collected and refreshed the army 


scattered and exhausted by the extraordinary rapidity 
of the pursuit. Nicanor, the son of Parmenio, who 
had held one of the most confidential commands dur- 
ing all the campaigns, and who had of late undergone 
great fatigue, sunk under the exertion, and soon after 

Alexander now prepared to invade Hyrcania. 
This province, situated between Mount Taurus and 
the south-eastern shores of the Caspian Sea, contained 
the greater portion of the modern Mazanderan, and 
the whole of Astrabad and Jorgan. The country 
betwen Mount Taurus and the Caspian is low, 
marshy, and covered with excellent timber, well 
adapted for shipbuilding. Thus it forms a striking 
contrast to the elevated steps of Media, Khorasan, 
Carmania, and Persis. The mountain passes being 
beset by the bandit tribes, the king divided his army 
into three bodies. He himself led the most numer- 
ous and active division over the mountains, by the 
shortest and most difficult paths. Craterus, with 
two brigades of the phalanx, and some archers and 
cavalry, was ordered to make a circuit to the left 
through the territories of the Tapeiri, who have be- 
queathed a name to the modern Tabaristan. Erigy- 
ius, the friend of his youth, who had been much 
brought forward of late, conducted the main body 
along the royal road leading from Hecatompylos to 
Zadra-Carta, probably the modern Sari. The three 
divisions were equally successful, and re-united in the 
plains of Hyrcania. They had not, however, fallen 
in with the Greek mercenaries of Darius, who had 


been one object of this combined movement. While 
the army was thus encamped, Artabazus and his 
three sons presented themselves before Alexander, 
and brought with them Autophradates, the satrap of 
the Tapeiri, and deputies from the Greek mercena- 
ries. His satrapy was restored to Autophradates; 
and Artabazus and his sons were received with great 
distinction and honor, both on account of their high 
nobility and of their fidelity to their unhappy sove- 
reign. The Greek deputies, who came to seek some 
terms of pacification, were briefly told that none 
could be granted, and that they must submit them- 
selves to the judgment of the king. 

This they promised to do, and officers were sent to 
conduct them to the camp. In the meantime he him- 
self marched westward into the country of the Mardi, 
who inhabited the lofty mountains to the northwest of 
the Caspian Gates, and in the vicinity of the modern 
Tehran.* This nation, into whose mountain for- 
tresses no enemy within the memory of man had 
ever penetrated, submitted after a slight resistance, 
and were commanded to obey the orders of the 
satrap of the Tapeiri. If Alexander had known as 
much of the heroic poetry of the East as of the West, 
he would have prided himself on having traversed the 
regions, and conquered the enemies, which had al- 
ready conferred an immortal name on Kustan, the 
Hercules of Persia. 

* Tehran, or Teheran, has for more than two hundred 
years, been the capital of Persia. It is, for that country, a 
flourishing city, counting over 200,000 inhabitants. 



On his return from this expedition, he found the 
Greek mercenaries, and ambassadors, from various 
states, who had continued to the last in the court of 
The Great King. Among others, deputies from 
Lacedsemon and Athens proved how busy of late 
the intrigues between the southern Greeks and Darius 
had been. These were imprisoned, but the envoys 
from Sinope and Carthage were dismissed. In the 
case of the Greek mercenaries, a distinction was 
drawn. Those who had entered the Persian service 
previous to the decree constituting a captain-general 
to lead the Greeks into Asia, were dismissed. Par- 
don was offered to the rest, on condition of entering 
into the Macedonian service. These willingly ac- 
cepted the alternative, and were placed under the 
command of Andronicus, who had conducted them 
into camp, and interested himself in their behalf. 

Alexander then moved to Zadra-Carta, where he 
remained fifteen days, which were partly devoted to 
public sacrifices, festivities, and gymnastic games. 

Thence he marched eastward through Parthia — 

land arrived at Susia or Susa, a city of Arcia, the 
modern Khorasan. Satibarzanes, the satrap, came 
and made his submission ; and, although he had been 
bne of the actual murderers of Darius, was restored 
to his government. An officer and forty horsemen 
were sent to escort him to Arta-Coana, his chief city, 
and to announce to all that he was recognized as satrap 
by the victor. Many Persians came over to Alexan- 
der, while remaining at Susia, and informed him that 
Bessus wore the upright tiara, and the robe with the 


intermingled white and purple stripes, distinctions 
in Persia peculiar to the king of kings — that he had 
assumed the name of Artaxerxes, and claimed the 
sovereignty of all Asia — that he was supported by the 
Persians who had taken refuge in Bactria, as well as 
the majority of the Bactrians — and that he was in 
daily expectation of being joined by a strong body of 
Scythian auxiliaries. 

This important intelligence determined Alexander 
immediately to enter Bactria. He had already col- 
lected his forces and was preparing to march, when 
suddenly it was announced that Satibarzanes had put 
the officer and the escort of cavalry to death, and was 
collecting an army at Arta-Coana — with the intention 
of supporting Bessus and making war upon Alexan- 
der. As this was the first breach of faith, committed 
by any Persian nobleman admitted into his service, 
Alexander, with his usual promptitude, returned 
instantly, reached Arta-Coana in the evening of the 
second day, and by his celerity confounded the plans 
of the satrap, who fled and left his accomplices to the 
mercy of the victor. Arta-Coana was probably the 
city which, by the later Greeks, was called the Areian 
Alexandria. The latter was undoubtedly the modern 
Hreat, and the struggle between its native and 
Greek name was long and doubtful : — even as late as 
the fourteenth century it was called Skandria by the 
Persians. It was situated on the river Aries, which 
according to ancient authors ended either in the 
desert or a lake j — although modern maps prolong its 


course into the Ted j en or Ochus, which, to say the 
least of it, is extremely improbable. 

Alexander, having been thus forced to return to 
Arta-Coana, did not resume his original route into 
Bactria, but changed his plan. Probably the incli- 
nation shown by the Arcians to rise in arms rendered 
it imprudent to advance into Bactria, while Arcia on 
the right and Sogdiana on the left flank were hostile. 
After suppressing the Areian revolt, he therefore 
marched into Drangiana against Barsaentes, the 
satrap, the accomplice of Satibarzanes in the murder 
of Darius, and probably in the late revolt. The assas- 
sin fled into the eastern provinces; and, being there 
seized and delivered to Alexander, was ordered to be 
executed for his treason. 

While the army was encamped in this province,a 
conspiracy was discovered, which ended in the exe- 
cution of the two most powerful men in the army. 
Arrian's account is brief and consistent, and therefore 
deserves to be inserted. 

" Here (he says) the king discovered the treason 
of Philotas, the son of Parmenio. Both Aristobulus 
and Ptolemy write that his guilty intentions had been 
mentioned to Alexander even as early as the visit to 
Egypt ; but that the information appeared incredible 
to the king, on account of the friendship which, from 
their earliest year, had subsisted between him and 
Philotas, and of the honors with which he had loaded 
both the father and the son. Ptolemy, the son of 
Lagus, writes that Philotas was brought before the 
assembled Macedonians, that Alexander was vehe- 


ment in his accusations, and that Philotas spoke in 
his own defence ; that witnesses were brought for- 
wards and convicted Philotas and his accomplices, 
both by other clear proofs and by his own confession, 
that he had heard that a conspiracy was forming 
against Alexander. He was thus convicted of hav- 
ing concealed the matter from the king, although he 
had had to wait upon him twice a day in the royal 
tent. Philotas and his accomplices were, therefore, 
pierced to death by the darts of the Macedonians." 

One of the Poman emperors complained, with 
equal humor and truth, that baffled and detected con- 
spiracies are always supposed never to have existed; 
and that the only chance a sovereign had of being 
believed in such a case, was to allow the traitors to 
execute their designs. It is not to be wondered, there- 
fore, that the republicans of Greece have depicted 
this most unhappy and melancholy occurrence in the 
colors best adapted to blacken the character of Alex- 
ander. According to them, Philotas was put to the 
rack, tortured, and blasted by the withering look of 
his sovereign, while yet hanging upon the wheel; 
and a confession of guilt, thus extorted, was pressed 
against him wmen brought before the Macedonian 
assembly. For these atrocities, however, there does 
not appear the slightest foundation. The facts of the 
case, as far as they can be extracted from the different 
accounts, appear to have been as follows : 

Dymnus, an officer of no great rank or authority, 
had attempted to induce his friend Nicomachus to 
join in a conspiracy against the life of Alexander. 

JEtat. 26.] DEATH OF PHILOTAS. 193 

Nicomachus pretended to enter into the design, and 
drew from Dymnus the names of the leaders in the 
plot. He then without delay mentioned the whole 
affair to his brother Cebalinus, who, as the other's 
motions would probably be watched, was to discover 
the affair. But Cebalinus, finding it difficult to pro- 
cure personal access to the royal presence, accosted 
Philotas, who was in daily attendance, and requested 
him to transmit the circumstances to the king. Phi- 
lotas agreed to do so. But Cebalinus, naturally sur- 
prised that no inquiry took place, and that neither he 
nor Nicomachus had been summoned to give evi- 
dence, waited again on Philotas, and asked if he had 
made the communication. The answer given by 
Philotas was, that Alexander had been too busily 
engaged all day, but that he would certainly mention 
it next morning. This also was passing without any 
inquiries, when the brothers, either suspicious of the 
integrity of Philotas, or fearful lest the discovery 
should reach the king by some other channel, applied 
to Metron, one of the royal pages, who instantly laid 
the whole affair before Alexander. Nor was any 
delay safe, as according to Dymnus the very next day 
was fixed for carrying the plot into execution. Alex- 
ander himself examined the informers, and sent a 
detachment of the guards to seize Dymnus ; but they 
failed to bring him alive before the king. He either 
slew himself, or by his extreme resistance compelled 
the guards to slay him. His conduct in either case 
was conclusive of his guilt, and proved that his pa- 
trons, whoever they might be, had rightly judged of 


his fitness for the desperate service on which he had 

The clue being thus broken, it was natural that 
suspicious should fall upon the great officer whose 
most culpable negligence had thus endangered the life 
of his sovereign; and he was brought to trial before 
the great jury of the Macedonian army. According 
to Curtius, the assembly in peace, and the army in 
war, had alone, under the Macedonian constitution, 
the power of inflicting capital punishment. 

Philotas was a brave and gallant man, of expensive 
habits, fond of pleasure, affecting Persian magnifi- 
cence in his equipage, retinue, and mode of living. 
It is said also that among private friends, and even 
to his mistresses, he was wont to speak in a disparag- 
ing tone of the abilities and achievements of Alexan- 
der — call him the boy — and claim for himself and 
his father the whole glory and renown of the Mace- 
donian victories. Indulgence in conversation of this 
description, equally absurd and indecorous, must 
have tended to foster, if not produce, in his mind 
feelings of contempt and disregard for his sovereign. 
" Make yourself less conspicuous, my son," was the 
wise but ineffectual counsel of his father. His inso- 
lent demeanor could not escape the personal observa- 
tion of the quick-sighted monarch, nor were there 
wanting those who carefully repeated in the royal 
presence the arrogant language of Philotas. Thus 
was the king's confidence in the son of Parmenio 
shaken ; and the vain youth had the mortification of 
seeing Craterus, his personal opponent, entrusted, 

JEtat. 26.] DEATH OF PHILOTAS. 195 

during the two last campaigns, with every separate 
command of importance. A preference so marked 
must naturally have increased his discontent, caused 
him to regard himself as overlooked and aggrieved, and 
made him a willing participator in any desperate 
schemes. He had been left behind in Parthia to 
celebrate the funeral obsequies of his brother Nicanor, 
and had not long rejoined the camp before the dis- 
covery of the plot took place. It is not unlikely that 
Parmenio also paid the last honors to that gallant 
youth ; and both the veteran general, we may easily 
believe, and Philotas felt that, while royal favor had 
passed away, the casualties of war were pressing 
heavy on their family — for the youngest brother 
Hector had also perished. 

One fact is certain — Parmenio had refused to obey 
orders. Alexander had commanded him to advance 
from Media, through Cadusia, into Hyrcania. And 
the king's western march into the territories of the 
Mardi was apparently undertaken for the sake of 
giving him the meeting. But neither Parmenio nor 
his troops appear to have quitted the walls of Ecba- 

Had Alexander fallen by the hand of Dymnus, or 
some such desperado, Philotas, the commander of 
the Companion cavalry, would undoubtedly have been 
entitled to the command of the army ; and as Ecba- 
tana and the treasures were in the power of Parmenio, 
the empire would have been completely at the dis- 
posal of the father and son. The Macedonian nobles 
were a turbulent race, who scrupled not, on what they 


conceived adequate provocation, or even prospect of 
personal advantage, to dip their hands in the blood 
of their sovereigns. Of the eight immediate prede- 
cessors of Alexander died only two a natural death; 
one fell in battle ; five perished by the blow of assas- 
sins. Without taking these things into considera- 
tion, it is impossible to understand the difficulties of 
the young king's position, or to form a just estimate 
of his character. In the present instance his con- 
duct was most constitutional, for all authors agree in 
the three following points : — that the trial was public, 
that a majority of the assembled Macedonians pro- 
nounced the sentence of condemnation, and that this 
majority carried their own sentence into execution. 

The most painful and difficult question remained 
— to decide the fate of Parmenio. Diodorus writes 
that he also was condemned by the assembly ; but 
his authority is not sufficient in this case. " Per- 
haps," says Arrian, " it seemed incredible to Alex- 
ander that the father should not have been a partici- 
pator in the plots of the son. Even were he not an 
accomplice, he might prove a dangerous survivor, ex- 
asperated by the death of his son, and so highly hon- 
ored not only by Alexander and the Macedonians, but 
by the whole body of mercenaries in the army, whom, 
both on ordinary and extraordinary occasions, he had 
commanded with the greatest applause." 

It w r as decreed that he should die. Polvdamas, 
one of the Companions, was dispatched to Media, 
with a letter from the king to Sitalces, Menidas, and 
Oleander, the lieutenants of Parmenio, ordering them 

^Etat. 26.] DEATH OF PARMENIO. 197 

to put their chief to death. The headquarters of the 
army were then in Drangiana, the modern Zarang or 
Zaringe of the Arab geographers, situated on the 
northern bank of the great river Heermund, the 
ancient Etymander. This, on the map, is five hun- 
dred and sixty miles from Ecbatana or Ispahan ; yet 
Polydamas, according to Strabo, mounted on a 
dromedary, crossed the desert, and reached the city in 
eleven days. The generals obeyed, and Parmenio died. 
Three sons of Andromenes — Amyntas, Attalus, 
and Simmias — were also brought to trial, principally 
on account of the great intimacy and confidence that 
had always subsisted between the eldest of .them and 
Philotas. The danger of these young men had been 
much increased by the conduct of Polemon, a fourth 
brother, who, on hearing of the apprehension of Phil- 
otas, deserted to the enemy. Amyntas, however, 
made a powerful defence before the assembly, re- 
pelled the charges, and was acquitted. Tie then 
asked the assembly's permission to go and seek his 
fugitive brother. It was granted. He went in search 
of him, found him, and persuaded him to return 
and submit to the law. If any doubts remained be- 
fore, they were removed by this open and sincere 
behavior of Amyntas. Alexander, the Lyncestian, 
who had now been three years in custody, was also 
tried, condemned, and executed by the great jury of 
the assembly. Demetrius, one of the generals of the 
body-guard, soon after fell under suspicion of having 
been deeply implicated in the treason' of Philotas. 
He was, therefore, consigned to safe custody, and 


Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, the personal and early 
friend of Alexander, promoted to rill the vacancy. 

It is clear that this affair must have rudely shaken 
the unlimited confidence with which Alexander had 
hitherto treated his friends, and that henceforth he 
judged greater caution necessary. The command of 
the Companion cavalry, so superior both in rank and 
gallantry to all the rest, was no longer trusted to one 
individual. It was separated into two bodies, and 
Cleitus was appointed to the command of one, and 
Hephsestion of the other division. 

From Drangiana Alexander marched up the Heer- 
mund, and arrived among a peaceful and civilized 
nation, that once had borne the name of Agriaspse, 
but were then called Euergeta? or Benefactors. This 
honorable appellation had been bestowed upon them 
by Cyrus the Great, whose army, exhausted by hun- 
ger and fatigue, in returning from an expedition, 
were relieved and refreshed by the active kindness 
of the tranquil and agricultural people. Alexander 
treated them with marked attention, both on account 
of their excellent character, and from respect for the 
first Cyrus, whom he held in great admiration. He 
offered them an increase of territory, vrhich, with the 
exception of a small corner, they had the moderation 
to refuse. Probably they were an Assyrian colony, 
attracted by the copious streams of the Heermund, 
and the delightfulness of the climate. Even as late 
as the tenth centurv, Ebn Haukal describes the vale 
of the Heermund as populous, and covered with 
cities. From Bost to the lake Zurrah, it was inter- 

Mtat. 26.] THE AGRIASP^. 199 

sected with canals, like the land of Egypt. At pres- 
ent the cultivated strip on both sides the river is very 

From the Agriaspse the king marched eastward, 
and as he advanced, received the submission of the 
Drangae, the Drangogse, and the Arachosians. While 
he was thus employed, Satibarzanes made an irrup- 
tion into Areia at the head of 2,000 Bactrian cavalry, 
granted to him by Bessus, and succeeded in organiz- 
ing a formidable insurrection. The Persian Arta- 
bazus, Erigyius, and Caranus, were sent back to sup- 
press this, and Pharataphernes the Parthian satrap, 
was ordered to invade Areia from the west. Sati- 
barzanes stood his ground, and fought a well-contested 
battle ; nor had the barbarians the worst, until 
Erigyius with his own hand slew their general, pierc- 
ing him in the face with his lance. The Asiatics then 
fled, and Erigyius had the honor of being the first 
Macedonian in Asia, who carried away what the Ro- 
mans would have called the u Spolia Opima," the 
arms of a commander in chief, won in single combat 
by an opponent of the same rank. 

Alexander, with the main army, still continued 
their advance, and toiled over the mountains of Can- 
dahar in deep snow, and with great labor. They 
then approached the southern foot of the great range 
of mountains, which hitherto they had called Taurus, 
but to the eastern part of which they now, in com- 
pliment to the king, gave the name of Caucasus. The 
more accurate geographers, however, call it Paropa- 
misus. There Alexander founded and called after 



[B.C. 330. 

his own name a city, which, as I shall have occasion 
to show in describing the march from Bactria into 
India, could not have been far from the modern Ca- 
bul. Here he remained for two months, until the 
severity of the winter had relaxed. 



With the spring the army moved from its winter 
quarters, and in fifteen days crossed the main ridge 
of mountains that separated the southern provinces 
from Bactria. Aristobulus writes that nothing grew 
on these hills hut pines and the herb silphium, from 
which the laserpitium of the Romans, and the benzoin 
of the Orientals was extracted. This drug, so highly 
prized by the ancients, is, according to naturalists, 
the modern assafoetida ; if so, taste must have 
strangely altered during the last 2,000 years. The 
hills, however, were well inhabited by pastoral tribes, 
whose flocks and herds grazed the silphium, a nourish- 
ing and favorite food. On reaching Adrapsa, on the 
northern side, the Macedonians found the whole coun- 
try laid waste by Bessus and his supporters ; their 
hope was to prevent the advance of Alexander by this 
system of devastation. But, in Arrian's simple style, 
" Alexander advanced nevertheless, with difficulty, 
indeed, on account of the deep snow, and in want of 
all necessaries, but still he advanced.'' When Bessus 
heard that the king was not far off, his heart failed 
him, and he and his associates crossed the Oxus and 
entered Sogdi v <ma. Seven thousand Bactrian cavalry, 



who had hitherto followed his banner, refused to 
abandon their country, disbanded and returned to 
their several homes. The Macedonians soon after 
captured Bactria and Arnus, the two chief cities, 
and effectually relieved themselves from all their 
difficulties. Thus, Memnon's plan may be said to 
have been fairly tried, by Bessus, and to have utterly 
failed ; in fact, the only case where such a sys- 
tem can succeed, is where there is some great barrier 
within which the invaded can defy the attack of the 

Bactria, the modern Balk, and once called Zari- 
aspa, was built on the banks of a considerable stream, 
which flowing down from the Paropamisus, entered 
the Oxus about a day's journey to the north of Bac- 
tria. In the days of the Arabian geographers, the 
whole of its waters were expended in irrigation, long 
before its junction with the Oxus; and this probably 
is its present state. Balk, although fallen from its 
regal magnificence, is still a considerable city. The 
whole district followed the fate of the capital, and 
submitted to the conqueror, who appointed Artabazus 
to the vacant satrapy. 

He then prepared to cross the Oxus and pursue 
Bessus into the Transoxiana of the Romans, the 
Mawaralnahr of the Arabians ; but the Thessalian 
and confederate troops, who had volunteered at the 
commencement of the last campaign, had been sick- 
ened by the snow, the cold, and the hunger to which 
they had been lately exposed ; Alexander, therefore, 
seeing the state of their minds, gave them leave to re- 

-ffitat. 27.] COURSE OF THE OXUS. 203 

turn home. At the same time a scrutiny took place 
among the Macedonian soldiers, and all whom age, 
wounds, or other infirmities, had rendered either 
unable or unwilling to encounter further hardships, 
were sent home with the Thessalians. 

Aristobulus describes the Oxus as six stadia, or 
something less than half a mile broad. This great 
stream presented a formidable obstacle to the north- 
ern progress of Alexander. Many attempts were 
made to construct piers on the bank, but as it con- 
sisted of a loose sandy soil, the short piles formed 
from the stunted timber to be procured in the vici- 
nity, were swallowed, and no solid work could be 
constructed. The king, however, was not to be baffled 
by these untoward circumstances ; floats were formed, 
supported on hides, either inflated, or stuffed with 
hay and rendered waterproof; and on these frail 
barks the whole army was ferried across in the course 
of five days. 

As soon as the Macedonians had gained the right 
bank, Spitamenes, satrap of Sogdiana, and Datapher- 
nes, two of the leading Persians who had hitherto 
adhered to Bessus, sent messengers to Alexander, 
promising, were a small force with a respectable 
commander sent to strengthen their hands, to deliver 
up Bessus, whom they had already placed under 
arrest. Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, was sent for- 
wards, with a small but select force, and his account 
of the transaction must certainly be regarded as the 
most authentic. 

He advanced with great rapidity, and in four 


days traversed a space equal to ten ordinary marches. 
On approaching the enemy, he was informed that 
Spitamenes and Dataphernes, scrupled actually to 
deliver Bessus into the hands of the Macedonians, 
but that the pretender to the empire of Asia was left 
almost destitute of troops in a walled village. 
Thither Ptolemy proceeded, and made himself mas- 
ter of the person of Bessus without encountering 
the slightest resistance. As soon as he had thus suc- 
cessfully executed his commission, he wrote to the 
king for instructions as to the manner in which he 
was to conduct the prisoner into his presence. The 
answer was, to deprive him of his arms, to place a 
rope round his neck, and thus conduct him to meet 

Ptolemy obeyed, and when the king appeared, 
drew his prisoner to one side of the road. Alexander, 
when opposite, stopped his chariot, and asked Bessus 
why he had seized, bound, and murdered his kinsman 
and benefactor, Darius ? The unfortunate man an- 
swered, that it was not his individual deed ; that all 
the satraps had concurred with him in the necessity 
of the measure, and that their common object was to 
secure the favor of Alexander. This excuse, false 
certainly in its latter part, was not received. Bessus 
was publicly scourged, while a herald announced to 
all the nature of his offence, and was sent to Bactria, 
there to await his final doom. Alexander then 
marched onwards, and arrived at Maracanda, the 
modern Samarcand. 

Many readers may imagine that the Macedonians 

iEtat. 27.] BOKHARA. 205 

had now been conducted into sandy deserts and barren 
regions, where all was desolate, and the necessaries 
of life could scarcely be procured; but the contrary 
was the case, for, according to the Arabian geo- 
graphers, who were intimately acquainted with every 
part of the country, there cannot under the sun be 
found more delightful spots than in Mawaralnahr, 
between the Oxus and Jaxartes, the Jihoon, and the 
Sihoon. The valley, Al Sogd, (whence the Greek 
Sogdiana,) with Samarcand at its upper and Bokhara 
at its lower end, is in an especial manner celebrated 
by them, as one of the terrestrial paradises. " In all 
the regions of the earth, (writes Ebn Haukal, the 
great traveller and geographer,) there is not a more 
delightful and flourishing country than Mawaralnahr, 
especially the district of Bokhara. If a person stand 
on its ancient citadel and cast his eyes around, 
nothing is visible on any side but beautiful green 
and luxuriant herbage, so that he might imagine the 
green of the earth and the azure of the skies to be 
blended with each other; and as there are verdant 
fields in every quarter, so there are villas inter- 
spersed among them." 

" It is said, (writes the same author) that in all 
the world there are not more delightful places than 
the sogd (vale) of Samarcand, the rood Aileh, (near 
Balsora,) and the ghouteh of Damascus; but the 
ghouteh of Damascus is within one farsang of barren 
and dry hills, without trees, and it contains many 
spots which are desolate and without verdure. A 
fine prospect ought to be such as completely fills the 


eye, and nothing should be visible but sky and green. 
The riverAileh affords this kind of prospect for one 
farsing only, and the verdant spot is either sur- 
rounded by or opposite to a dreary desert. But the 
vales, and buildings, and cultivated plains of Bok- 
hara, extend above thirteen farsangs by twelve, and 
the sogd, for eight days' journey, is all delightful 
country, affording fine prospects, and full of gardens, 
orchards, villages, corn-fields, villas, running streams, 
reservoirs, and fountains, both on the right and left 
hand. You pass from corn fields into rich meadows ; 
and the sogd is far more healthy than the rood Aileh 
and the ghouteh of Damascus, and its fruit is the 
finest in the world." 

Alexander remained for some time in this delight- 
ful region, where he remounted his cavalry, as the 
loss of horses of every kind had been great during the 
winter operations, and the passage of the Paropa- 
misus. In an attack on a hill fortress, the position 
of which is doubtful, as Arrian places it near the 
Jaxartes, Curtius, between the Oxus and Maracanda, 
he received a severe wound from an arrow, which 
splintered a portion of one of the bones of his leg, 
and long incapacitated him from active duty. He 
could not, however, remain quiet until the wound was 
thoroughly healed, but caused himself to be carried 
j in a litter wherever he judged his presence necessary. 
A dispute took place, consequently, between the car- 
alrv and the infantry: — to which belonged the 
privilege of carrying their wounded king. This 

Malt. 27.] REVOLT OF BACTRIA. 207 

Alexander decided with his usual judgment, by 
devolving the duty alternately on both parties. 

All Transoxiana had now acknowledged his author- 
ity, and every important city had admitted a Mace- 
donian garrison; he himself had advanced to the 
Jaxartes or Sihoon, and fixed upon the site of a new 
town, to be called Alexandria, which he expected 
would in time prove a great and flourishing city, 
when suddenly the Sogdians and Bactrians rose up 
in arms and expelled or massacred most of the Mace- 
donian garrisons. 

There can be no doubt of the connection of Spi- 
tamenes and the other accomplices of Bessus with 
this insurrection ; their reception from Alexander 
was probably not very cordial, nor do we read of 
any re-appointments to their governments, as had 
invariably been the case on previous occasions. It 
appears also to me, that Alexander deeply erred in 
ordering Bessus to be scourged publicly for his 
crimes. That lord belonged to the highest order 
of nobility, and was entitled to great privileges. 
Xenophon informs us, that when Orontes had been 
condemned to death for his treachery to Cyrus the 
Younger, and was in the act of being led to execution, 
all men prostrated themselves before him, as usual. 
It may be inferred that the feelings of the Persians 
were as much outraged by the degrading punishment 
of Bessus, as those of the English nobility would be, 
were they to see a Duke of Norfolk or Northumber- 
land flogged by the hands of the common hangman 
through the streets of London. 


Alexander had summoned an assembly, to be com- 
posed of all the leading men in the country. The 
object probably was to settle the government and the 
collection of the revenues on the plan most agreeable 
to the men of influence. But Spitamenes, an able 
and active man, took occasion from this to convey 
private intelligence to all summoned, announcing that 
the object of the invader was to seize and massacre 
them all. The consequence was the general revolt, in 
which the people in the immediate vicinity of Alex- 
ander and his army joined. The inhabitants of 
these provinces were not only more warlike than the 
nations hitherto subdued, but connected by blood and 
international communication with the powerful Scy- 
thian tribes to the north of the Jaxartes and to the 
east of Sogdiana and Bactria, who, as afterwards 
plainly appeared, had promised to aid Spitamenes 
and his associates. The emergency, therefore, was 
such as to call forth all the energies of Alexander. 

The inhabitants of the populous vale on the left 
bank of the Jaxartes — called in modern times the 
districts of Fergana and Al-Hash — had taken refuge 
in seven fortified cities. The walls were formed of 
indurated earth or mud, being the same materials still 
used in that country for like purposes. 

Alexander, having ordered Craterus to march 
against Cyropolis, the chief city, (probably the 
modern Chojand,) proceeded in person to Gaza, one 
of the towns. The troops formed a circle round it — 
with the archers, slingers, and dartmen in the rear. 
These, while the soldiers were marching to the esca- 


lade, cleared the walls of their defenders, by the clouds 
of missiles which they discharged ; the ladders were 
then applied, and the Macedonians mounted the 
walls. The men were put to the sword, the women 
and children were spared. The army was then led 
to the next town, which was fortified in the same 
manner — and captured by the same means. Next 
day, a third city experienced the like fate. While 
the infantry were thus employed, the cavalry was 
sent to watch two other cities, lest the inhabitants, 
taking warning from the fate of their neighbors, 
should seek refuge in the desert or among the 
mountains, where pursuit would be impossible. The 
inhabitants of these, as Alexander had foreseen, 
learning the fate of the others from the smoke of the 
conflagration, and from chance fugitives, attempted 
to escape in a body, but were overtaken by the cavalry 
and mostly cut to pieces. 

Having thus captured five towns in the short space 
of three days, the king joined Craterus under the 
walls of Cyropolis, the capital. This town had been 
founded by the great Cyrus, as a barrier against the 
Scythians. Its fortifications were more formidable, 
and it was garrisoned by eighteen thousand of the 
bravest barbarians of the vicinity. Engines were, 
therefore, constructed, and preparations made to bat- 
ter down the walls, and form breaches in the regular 
way. But as he was carefully examining the walls, 
he discovered the channel of a stream, which in 
winter ran through the city, but was then dry. The 

aperture between the wall and the bed of the torrent 


was large enough to permit the entrance of single 
soldiers. He himself, with a few others, crept 
into the citv bv this inlet, while the attention of the 
besieged was fixed upon the operations of the en- 
gineers. The party having thus gained entrance, 
rushed to the nearest gate, broke it open, and 
admitted the guards, the archers, and Agrians, who 
had been drawn up in front of the gate for the very 
purpose. The garrison surprised, but not dismayed, 
bravely charged the assailants, and nearly succeeded 
in expelling them. Alexander himself received a 
stunning blow from a stone, on the nape of his neck, 
and Craterus was wounded by an arrow. The Mace- 
donians at last drove the garrison from the streets 
and the market place into the citadel. But as this 
was not supplied with water, ten thousand men sur- 
rendered at discretion in the course of the following 
day; and the seventh and last city followed their 
example. The prisoners were divided among the 
soldiers, in order to be conveved out of the country — 
it being Alexander's fixed resolution not to leave in 
Sogdiana a single individual who had been actively 
engaged in this insurrection. 

The necessity of these rapid and energetic meas- 
ures became manifest, when the right bank of the 
Jaxartes was seen crowded bv Scvthian cavalrv, 
eager to render assistance to the insurgents. 

These Scythians, so much extolled by the sophists, 
and even poets, of Greece and Rome, for their vir- 
tues and the happy simplicity of their lives, have, in 
all recorded ages, been the curse of the civilized 

JEtat. 27.] SCYTHIAN NOMADS. 211 

world. Issuing in all directions from the steppes of 
Tartary, they have spread ruin and desolation over 
the fairest portions of our globe. Their habits and 
j)ractices have been the same for five-and-twenty 
centuries, and under the various names of Cimmer- 
ians, Trerians, Scythians, Getse, Tochari, Parthians, 
Goths, Huns, Mongols, Zagataians, Tartars, Turks, 
and Turkomans, they have never ceased to be the 
scourge of agricultural Asia and Europe; nor will 
anything ever stay this plague but the introduction 
of European arts and sciences among the peaceful 
inhabitants of the banks of the great Asiatic rivers. 
Alexander had already come in contact with their kin- 
dred tribes, to the west of the Euxine — and he was 
now destined to hear their taunts from the right 
bank of the Jaxartes. 

He was then engaged in founding and fortifying 
that Alexandria which was named by the Greeks 
Eschata or Extreme* This city is probably the 
modern Aderkand on the left bank of the Jaxartes, 
at the eastern end of the fertile district of Eergana. 
Ebn Haukal says, " It enjoys the warmest climate 
of any place in the district of Eergana. It is next 
to the enemy, and is twice or thrice as large as Awash. 
It has an ancient citadel, and suburbs, with groves 
and gardens, and running streams." The army was 
engaged for three weeks in fortifying this limitary 
town. The termination of the labor was celebrated 

* Alexandria Eschata is now identified with the modern 
Khojend, a city of about 20,000 inhabitants, situated in 
Russian Turkestan. 


by the usual sacrifices and their accompanying festiv- 
ities. The soldiers competed for prizes in horse 
races, chariot races, and other trials of skill, strength, 
and activity. The colonists, for the new city, were 
selected indifferently from Greeks, barbarians, and 

But each returning day presented to the view of 
Alexander the hated Scythians on the opposite bank. 
They even shot their arrows across, as the river was 
not broad in that quarter, and dared the Macedonians 
to the combat, telling them that if they came over 
they would soon be taught the difference between the 
Scythians and the Asiatic barbarians. 

Exasperated by these and similar taunts, Alexan- 
der ordered floats and rafts, supported by inflated 
skins and stuffed hides, to be constructed, for the 
purpose of conveying the troops across. But the 
sacrificial omens were pronounced by the diviners to 
be most inauspicious. Aristander and his com- 
panions were probably alarmed for the honor and 
safety of the king. They must have known that the 
Jaxartes was the river which, under the name of 
Araxes, the great Cyrus had crossed previous to his 
fatal defeat by the Scythian Massageta\ The nar- 
row escape also of the first Darius, and the conse- 
quent irruption of his pursuers into Thrace, had ren- 
dered the Scythian name terrible in Greece. The 
diviners, therefore, persisted in reporting bad omens ; 
and Alexander, angry and indignant as he was, dared 
not (nor would it have been wise) to disregard their 
answers. The Scythians, however, still continued to 

^tat. 27.] PASSAGE OF THE JAXARTES. 213 

line the opposite bank, and he also persevered in con- 
sulting the omens. He had no other choice ; he could 
not march back into Sogdiana and Bactria to suppress 
the rebellion, and leave the Scvthians to cross the 
river without molestation. His perseverance suc- 
ceeded, and Aristander at length pronounced the 
omens favorable for the expedition, but that great 
personal danger to the king was portended. By this 
answer probably, he hoped to sooth the angry feelings 
of Alexander, while he calculated that the great of- 
ficers, supported by the voice of the army, would in- 
terfere and prevent operations likely to prove fatal 
to the sovereign. But Alexander declared that he 
would run every risk rather than be braved and baf- 
fled by the Scythians as the first Darius had been. 

There is no reason to suspect any collusion between 
him and the diviners. If any did exist, it was prob- 
ably between the great officers and the latter. Aris- 
tander's declaration was, " that he could not falsify 
the omens, because Alexander wished them different." 

The army was drawn up on the edge of the river 
ready to embark. Behind the troops were placed the 
engines, from which missiles of every kind were dis- 
charged, in order to dislodge the enemy from the 
opposite bank, and leave room for the soldiers to land. 
The Scythians were terrified by the execution done 
by the powerful catapults, especially when they saw 
one of their chief warriors actually transfixed 
through shield, breast-plate, and back-piece, by an 
engine-dart. They, therefore, retired beyond the 
reach of the missiles. The trumpets instantly gave 


the signal, and the floats pushed from the shore, 
headed as usual by Alexander in person. The first 
division consisted of archers and slingers, who kept 
the enemy at a distance, while the second division, 
consisting of the phalanx, were landing and forming. 
Alexander then ordered a troop of the mercenary 
cavalry, and four troops of heavy lancers, to advance 
and charge. The Scythians not only stood their 
ground, but wheeled round the flanks of this small 
body, and severely galled the men with their mis- 
siles, while they easily eluded the direct charge of 
the Macedonian horse. 

As soon as Alexander had observed their mode of 
fighting, he distributed the archers, Agrians, and 
other light troops, between the ranks of the cavalry. 
He then advanced, and when the lines were near, or- 
dered three troops of the Companion cavalry, and all 
the mounted dartmen, to attack from the flanks, while 
he formed the remainder into columns, and charged 
in front. The enemy were thus prevented from exe- 
cuting their usual evolutions, for the cavalry pressing 
upon them on every side, and the light troops min- 
gling among them, made it unsafe for them either to 
expose their flanks or to turn suddenly round. The 
victory was decisive, and a thousand Scythian horse- 
men were left dead on the field. 

The pursuit was across a parched and sandy plain, 
and the heat, for it was in the middle of summer, 
was great and overpowering. Alexander, in order 
to allay the thirst from which, in common with the 
whole army, he suffered excessively, drank some 


brackish water, which, either from its own noxious 
qualities, or from the overheated state of the king, 
nearly proved fatal to him. The pursuit which, as 
usual, was led by himself, was instantly stayed, and 
he was carried back to the camp more dead than alive. 
Thus the credit of Aristander was preserved. 

Soon after an embassy arrived from the Scythian 
king, imputing the late hostilities to bandit tribes, 
that acted without the authority of the great council 
of the nation, and professing the willingness of the 
Scythian government to obey the commands of Alex- 
ander. The apology was accepted, and the ambassa- 
dors received with kindness. The rumor of the vic- 
tory and of the consequent submission of the Scyth- 
ians, hitherto regarded invincible, proved highly ad- 
vantageous in repressing the further progress of the 
insurrection. The Macedonians, either from igno- 
rance or flattery, called the Jaxartes the Tanais, and 
boasted that their victorious king had passed into 
Europe through the north-western boundaries of 

This victory over the Scythians was very season- 
able, as soon after the news arrived of the heaviest 
blow that befell the Macedonian arms during the 
whole war. 

While Alexander was detained on the Jaxartes, 
Spitamenes, at the head of the insurgent Sogdians, 
had marched to Maracanda, gained possession of the 
city, and besieged the Macedonian garrison in the 
citadel. Alexander, on hearing this, dispatched to 
the assistance of the besieged a reinforcement of 


Greek mercenaries, consisting of fifteen hundred in- 
fantry and eight hundred cavalry. To these were 
added sixty of the Companions. The military com- 
manders were Andromachus, Menedemus, and Cara- 
nus. But these were ordered to act under the direc- 
tion of Pharnuches, a Lycian, skilled in the lan- 
guage of the country, and accounted an able negotia- 
tor. Perhaps Alexander thought that, as the insur- 
rection had principally been caused by a misconcep- 
tion, Pharnuches would be more likely to suppress 
it by explanations, than military men by the sword. 

As soon as Spitamenes heard of their approach, he 
raised the siege of the citadel, and retired down the 
river Polytimetus towards the royal city of Sogdi- 
ana. The Polytimetus is the modern Kohuk, and the 
royal city is Bokhara, called by Ptolemy Tru-Bactra. 
Spitamenes was pursued by the Greeks, who, in their 
eagerness to expel him entirely from Sogdiana, fol- 
lowed him into the territory of the Scythian nomads, 
who possessed the great steppe between the Sogd and 
the lake Aral. Its present inhabitants are Uzbeks. 
The invasion of their territories roused the tribes of 
the desert, and six hundred chosen horsemen joined 
Spitamenes. Inspired by this accession of strength, 
greater in name even than reality, the Persian halted 
on the edge of the desert, and prepared to give his 
pursuers battle; and the tactics, which the genius 
and activity of Alexander had repeatedly baffled, 
proved successful against commanders of less skill 
and vigor. 

Spitamenes neither charged himself, nor awaited 


the Macedonian charge; but his cavalry wheeled 
round them in circular movements, and discharged 
their arrows into the centre of the infantry. When 
the Greek cavalry attacked, the Scythians easily 
eluded them by the greater swiftness and freshness 
of their horses. But the moment the assailants 
halted or retired, the Scythians again returned and 
resumed the'offensive. When many Greeks had been 
thus wounded and a few slain, the generals formed 
the whole into a square, and retreated in the direction 
of the Polytimetus, in the vicinity of which a wooded 
ravine seemed likely to protect them from the enemy's 
missiles. But, on approaching the river, Caranus, 
the commander of the cavalry, without communicat- 
ing with Andromachus, the commander of the in- 
fantry, attempted to cross, and thus give the cavalry 
at least a chance of safety. The infantry being thus 
deserted by their only protectors, broke their ranks, 
and hurried in disorder, and without listening to the 
voice of their officers, to the bank of the river. And 
although this was high and precipitous, and the river 
itself far larger than the Thessalian Peneius, they 
rushed down the bank and into the stream, heedless 
of consequences. 

The enemy were not slow in taking advantage of 
this disorder ; their cavalry rode into the river, and, 
while some crossed, took possession of the opposite 
bank, and drove such of the Greeks as reached it back 
into the stream — others pressed from the rear, and 
cut down those who were entering the water; large 
parties stationed themselves on each flank, and 


showered their darts and arrows upon the helpless 
Greeks, who, being thus surrounded on all sides, 
took refuge in a small island. But here they were 
equally exposed to the arrows of the barbarians, who 
did not cease to discharge them until they had de- 
stroyed the whole. Only forty of the cavalry, and 
three hundred of the infantry, returned to Mara- 
canda from this scene of slaughter. 

According to Aristobulus, Pharnuches, as soon as 
the service appeared dangerous, wished to yield the 
command to the generals, alleging that his commis- 
sion extended only to negotiate, and not to fight. 
But Andromachus and Caranus declined to take the 
command, in opposition to the letter of the king's 
commission, and in the hour of danger, when nothing 
but great success could justify their assumption of it. 
The victory of Spitamenes was, therefore, partly in- 
sured by the anarchy and consequent indecision of the 
Macedonians. The conqueror returned to Mara- 
canda, and again invested the citadel. 

When Alexander received information of this 
serious defeat — the loss in which, from the constitu- 
tion of a Greek army, cannot be stated at less than 
five thousand men — he took with him one-half of 
the Companion cavalry, the guards, the Agrians, the 
archers, and the most active soldiers of the phalanx, 
and, after a march of ninety miles, arrived at Mara- 
canda on the morning of the fourth day. Spita- 
menes did not await his approach, and retired as be- 
fore to the desert. Alexander pressed him hard in 
his retreat, until he arrived at the scene of the late 


disaster. The sight of his slaughtered soldiers, with 
whose fate he deeply sympathized, arrested the pur- 
suit, and the dead were buried with due honors. He 
then turned his wrath against the inhabitants in the 
vicinity, who had aided Spitamenes in the work of 
destruction, and overran the whole country, until he 
arrived at the spot where the Polytimetus, large as 
it was, sunk into the sands of the desert.* After 
this act of vengeance, Alexander conducted his troops 
across the Oxus, and spent the winter at Bactria. 
As the Sogdians were still in arms, it is evident that 
some causes, of which we have been left ignorant, 
caused this retrograde march. 

During the short intervals between his almost in- 
cessant military operations, Alexander had of late, 
when appearing in his civil capacity, partially 
adopted the Persian dress and regal costume. This 
gave serious offence to many Macedonian veterans, 
who could ill brook to see the barbarian cidaris on 
the brow of an Heracleid prince, or his limbs envel- 
oped in the loose folds of the Median robe. In their 
opinion, it not only betrayed a degrading sympathy 
with the feelings of the vanquished, but also fore- 
boded a determination to claim the privileges, and 
exert the unlimited authority, possessed by his prede- 
cessors on the throne of Cyrus. They had long ago, 
therefore, regarded this tendency to innovation with 
a jealous eye. 

*Such also was its termination in the days of the Arabian 
geographers, and such probably it is now, although on modern 
maps we see its stream conducted into the Oxus. 


On the other hand, the Persian nobility were 
naturally scandalized at the rude and boisterous man- 
ners of the Macedonian officers, who, claiming almost 
an equality with their sovereign, pressed into his 
presence without any of those tokens of respect and 
reverence which the Orientals in all ages have re- 
garded as necessarily connected with the support of 
kingly authority. They thought themselves, there- 
fore, entitled to remonstrate with Alexander upon the 
rude manners of his court, and press him to adopt 
some of those ceremonies, the absence of which would 
be certain in the end to draw upon him the contempt 
of his eastern subjects. 

ISTor could a man of Alexander's talents and knowl- 
edge ever suppose, that the innumerable millions of 
his acquired empire were to be governed by the brute 
force of his few Macedonians. He was therefore, as 
we shall hereafter see, more anxious to amalgamate 
than to keep separate the Greek and Persian races. 
But this could not be done without sacrifices on both 
sides, and a mutual approximation to each other's 

Of all the practices of the oriental courts, the cere- 
mony called by the Chinese kotow, which enforces 
prostration at the feet of the sovereign, is the most 
repugnant to European feelings. Something simi- 
lar, but not requiring so humiliating a posture, was 
necessary on approaching the presence of the Persian 
King of Kings. It consisted most probably of a low 
inclination of the body, as we read that a sturdy 
Spartan once satisfied the master of the ceremonies, 


and at the same time his own conscience, by dropping 
a ring, and stooping down to pick it up again in the 
royal presence. The Greeks in general regarded 
the ceremony as idolatrous, and as a species of adora- 
tion due only to the gods. When, therefore, it was 
proposed to pay the same outward respect to Alex- 
ander, it could only be done by asserting, that he was 
as much entitled to divine honors as Dionysus, Her- 
cules, and the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux. 

As far as I can trace, Alexander never attempted 
to claim any other homage as a divinity; nor do I 
find, from any respectable authority, that he ever as- 
serted himself to be the son of Amnion. That such 
a tale was whispered in the camp, and published both 
in Europe and Asia, there is no doubt ; but it will be 
difficult to show that Alexander treated it otherwise 
than as an excellent subject for witty sayings and 
good jokes. 

Arrian's account of the first attempt to introduce 
the adoration, is so descriptive of the feelings and 
opinions upon the subject, that I cannot do better 
than translate it. — It ought to be premised, that the 
court of Alexander was frequented by many literary 
characters, eager to see the new world opened to their 
observations, and to gain the favor of the king. 
Among these, Anaxarchus, a philosopher from Ab- 
dera, and Agis, an Argive poet, whose verses, accord- 
ing to Curtius, were inferior to the compositions even 
of Choerilus, were supposed more eager to gratify 
their great patron than to uphold their own dignity 
and independence. — " It had been agreed (says my 


author between the king, the sophists, and the most 
respected Medes and Persians, to introduce the sub- 
ject of adoration while the wine was going round. 
Anaxarchus commenced by saying, — ' thatAlexander 
could with far greater justice be deemed a divinity 
than Dionysus and Hercules, both on account of the 
numerous and splendid actions performed by him, 
and because Dionysus was a Theban, having no con- 
nection with the Macedonians, and because Hercules 
was an Argive, equally unconnected with Macedonia, 
except through the family of Alexander, who was an 
Heracleid. It was also more proper for the Mace- 
donians to distinguish their own sovereigns by divine 
honors, especially when there could not be a doubt 
that they would honor him as a god after his de- 
parture from among men. Much more just would 
it be, then, thus to honor him while living than after 
his death, when all such distinctions would be un- 
availing.' — 

" When Anaxarchus had advanced these and simi- 
lar arguments, those to whom the proposition had 
been previously communicated applauded his speech, 
and wished immediately to commence the adoration. 
The majority of the Macedonians, although hostile to 
the ceremony, remained silent; but Calisthenes took 
up the question and spoke — 

" i O Anaxarchus, Alexander in my opinion is 
worthy of every honor which, without exceeding due 
bounds, can be paid to a man ; but a strong line of 
distinction has been drawn between divine and hu- 
man honors. We honor the gods in various ways — i 


by building temples, erecting statues, exempting 
ground consecrated to them from profane uses; by 
sacrificing, pouring libations, and composing hymns 
in their praise — but principally by adoration. Men 
are kissed by those who salute them; but the divin- 
ity, seated aloft, beyond the reach of the touch of 
man, is honored by adoration. The worship of the 
gods is also celebrated with dances and sacred songs. 
]^or ought we to wonder at this marked line of dif- 
ference, for even different gods have different honors 
paid to them, and those assigned to deified heroes are 
distinctly separated from those paid to the divinity. 
It is unbecoming, therefore, to confound all these 
distinctions, and to swell men by excessive honors 
beyond their fair proportion, and thus, as far as de- 
pends upon us, by granting equal honors to men, de- 
grade the gods to an unseemly humiliation. Even 
Alexander himself would not tolerate the conduct of 
any private individual, who might attempt by illegal 
suffrages and election to arrogate royal honors to 
himself; with much greater justice will the anger of 
the gods be excited against those men, who either 
themselves arrogate divine honors, or permit others 
to claim such for them. 

" ' But Alexander beyond comparison is, and has 
the reputation of being, the bravest of brave men, 
the most princely of kings, and the most consum- 
mate general. And you, O Anaxarchus, who asso- 
ciate with Alexander for the purpose of being his in- 
structor in philosophy, ought to be the first in en- 


forcing the principles laid down by me, and in coun- 
teracting the contrary. 

" ' In you, therefore, it was highly unbecoming to 
introduce this proposal, and to forget that you are 
the companion and adviser, not of a Cambyses or a 
Xerxes, but of the son of Philip, by birth a Hera- 
cleid and an ^Eacide, whose ancestors emigrated from 
Argos to Macedonia, and whose family, for succes- 
sive generations, has reigned over Macedonia, not by 
tyrannical force, but according to the laws. !N"o 
divine honors were paid by the Greeks even to Her- 
cules while living, nor yet after his death until the 
oracle of Delphi had enjoined them to worship him 
as a god. 

" ' But if we are to adopt the spirit of barbarians 
because we are few in number in this barbarous land ; 
I call upon you, O Alexander, to remember Greece; 
and that the whole object of your expedition was its 
welfare, and to subject Asia to Greece, not Greece 
to Asia. Consider therefore whether it be vour in- 
tention after your return to exact adoration from the 
Greeks, who of all men enjoy the greatest freedom, 
or to spare the Greeks, and impose this degradation 
on the Macedonians alone ; or, finally, to be honored 
by the Greeks and Macedonians as a man and a 
Greek, and only by the barbarians according to their 
own fashion ? 

" l But since it is said that Cyrus, the son of Cam- 
byses, was the first who was adored among men, and 
that from his time this humiliating ceremony has 
continued among the Medes and Persians, recall to 

JEtat. 27.J THE CEREMONY. 225 

your memory, that the Scythians poor and indepen- 
dent, chastised his pride — that the insolence of 
Darius was checked by their European countrymen 
— that Xerxes was brought to a proper sense of feel- 
ing by the Athenians and Lacedemonians — Artax- 
erxes by Clearchus and Xenophon with the ten thou- 
sand — and Darius by Alexander, not yet adored.' " 

Thus far I have transcribed the words of Arrian 
— Calisthenes, (he proceeds to say,) by these and sim- 
ilar arguments, excessively annoyed Alexander, but 
spoke in unison with the feelings of the Macedonians. 
The king, observing this, sent round to inform them, 
that the adoration or prostration was not expected 
from them. As soon as silence had been restored, 
the Persians of the highest rank rose and performed 
the ceremony in order. Leonnatus, one of the Com- 
panions, as a Persian was performing his salaam 
without much elegance, ridiculed the posture of the 
performer as most degrading. This drew upon him 
at the time the severe animadversion of Alexander, 
who however again admitted him to favor. 

The following account has been also recorded. 
Alexander pledged the whole circle in a golden cup, 
which was first carried to those with whom the cere- 
mony of the adoration had been previously arranged. 
The first who received it, drained the cup, rose up, 
made his adoration, and was kissed by Alexander; 
and the cup thus passed in succession through the 
whole party. But when it came to the turn of Calis- 
thenes to pledge the king, he rose up, and drained the 
cup; but, without performing the ceremony, ap- 


proached the king with the intention of kissing him. 
Alexander at the moment was conversing with 
Ilephsestion, and had not observed whether Calis- 
thenes had performed the ceremony or not ; but De- 
metrius, the son of Pythonax, one of the Companions, 
told him, as Calisthenes was approaching, that he had 
neglected the ceremony; the king, therefore, refused 
the salute, on which the philosopher turned on his 
heel and said, " Then I return the poorer by a kiss." 

It is evident from this account, that the divine 
honors respecting which the southern Greeks so ex- 
travagantly calumniated Alexander, were no more 
than the prostration or bending of the person, which 
the etiquette of the Persian court exacted from all 
subjects on approaching the royal presence. Whether 
it was prudent in Alexander to show an inclination 
to require it from the Macedonians is another ques- 
tion. He evidently was a great admirer of the writ- 
ings of Xenophon, who had highly eulogized his per- 
fect prince for the supposed institution of this and 
other ceremonies. The question was agitated at this 
period with great heat, and was productive of better 
animosities between the two parties, and finally ter- 
minated in the Greatest calamitv of Alexander's life. 

Cleitus, called by Plutarch Cleitus the Black, was 
the brother of Larnice, the lady who had actuallv 
nursed the infant Alexander, although the superin- 
tendence had been entrusted to her mother Helhe- 
nic<\ Alexander's attachment to his nurse had ex- 

* It was this sardonic spirit of Calisthenes that finally 
brought him to his end. See below, p. 254 ff. 

iEtat. 27.] CLEITUS. 227 

tended to her family, and when his two foster broth- 
ers had fallen by his side in battle, Cleitus became 
the favored representative of the family. During 
the first four camjDaigns, he had been the commander 
of the royal troop of the Companion cavalry, whose 
especial duty it was to guard the king's person on the 
clay of battle. We have already seen how well he 
performed his duty in the battle on the Granicus, 
and how his services had been rewarded with the 
2ommand, after the death of Philotas, of half the 
Companion cavalry. The importance of this office 
may be inferred from the circumstance mentioned 
by Arrian, that Perdiccas, when dividing the sa- 
trapies of the empire among the great officers, re- 
served to himself the command of the Companion 
:avalry, " which was in fact the regency of the whole 
empire." Cleitus, therefore, was not only the con- 
fidential friend of Alexander, but one of the highest 
officers in the Macedonian camp. 

While Alexander continued in his winter quar- 
ters at Bactra, the day came round which the Mace- 
donians held sacred as the festival of Dionysus or 
Bacchus. The king had hitherto religiously ob- 
served it with all the due sacrifices and ceremonies; 
but on the present occasion he neglected Dionysus, 
and devoted the day to the Dioscuri, Castor and Pol- 

The ancient Persians, whose origin was probably 
Scythian, were deep drinkers. Darius, the son of 
ETystaspes, caused it to be recorded in his epitaph, 
'hat, among other laudable qualifications, he could 


bear more wine than any of his subjects. Alexan- 
der unfortunately for himself, preferred the deep 
carousals of the barbarians to the sober habits of the 
Greeks, and his winter quarters were often charac- 
terized by prolonged sittings and excessive drinking. 
Like many other men, the King appears to have 
found it more easy to practise abstemiousness as a 
general rule, than temperance on particular occa- 

On this dav, the conversation had naturally turned 
upon the exploits of Castor and Pollux, and many 
of the guests, certainly not without reason, affirmed 
that their deeds were not to be named in comparison 
with the achievements of Alexander. Others of the 
company were not more favorable to the pretensions 
of Hercules, and both parties agreed that envy alone 
prevented men from paying equal honors to living 
merit. Cleitus, who had ere now testified his con- 
tempt for the barbaric innovations of Alexander, and 
the baseness of his flatterers, being much excited by 
wine, exclaimed that he would no longer allow the 
exploits of the deified heroes of ancient days to be 
thus undervalued ; that the personal achievements of 
Alexander were neither great, wonderful, nor worthy 
to be compared to the actions of the demigods ; that 
alone he had done nothing, and that his victories 
were the work of the Macedonians. 

This argument was retorted by the opponent*, as 
being equally applicable to the actions of Philip, the 
favorite hero of the veteran, while they insisted that, 
with the same means and with the same Macedonians, 

iEtat. 27.] DEATH OF CLEITUS. 229 

Alexander had infinitely surpassed his father in the 
magnitude and glory of his deeds. On this Cleitus 
lost all self-command, and began to exaggerate be- 
yond measure the actions of the father, and to dero- 
gate from the honors of the son. He loudly re- 
minded Alexander that it was he, one of Philip's 
veterans, who had saved his life, when he had turned 
his back to Spithridates, and he repeatedly extended 
his right hand in an insolent and boastful manner, 
calling out, " This hand, O Alexander, — this hand 
saved your life on that day ! " 

The King, who was also under the excitement of 
wine, unable any longer to endure the drunken inso- 
lence of an officer, whose especial duty it was to 
check all such conduct in others, sprung at Cleitus 
in his wrath, but was held back by the company. 
Cleitus, however, did not cease to utter the most in- 
sulting and irritating language. Alexander then 
loudly called for his guards, remonstrated with those 
who had detained him, complained that he was as 
much a prisoner as Darius had been in the hands of 
Bessus, and that he was king only in name. With 
that he broke with violence from the hands of his 
friends, sprung forwards, tore a lance from a sen- 
tinel's hand, and thrust it through the unfortunate 
Cleitus, who fell dead on the spot. 

Aristobulus writes, and it is the more probable ac- 
count, that when Alexander first sprung from his seat 
and was restrained by his friends, others of the party 
hurried Cleitus out of the banqueting room, and that 
he even reached the quarters of Ptolemy, the son of 


Lagus, the commander of the guard. But as Alexan- 
der, in a paroxysm of frenzy, was loudly calling 
him by name, he rushed back into the room with these 
words, " Here am I, Cleitus, for you, O Alexander ! ' 
and was instantly slain. 

The sight of blood, and the completion of his in- 
sane vengeance, produced the natural and usual effect, 
and the King was immediately restored to reason. 
His first impulse was to place the shaft of the lance 
against the wall and to rush upon the point ; but his 
friends prevented him, and conveyed him to his 
chamber, where he remained for three days, incon- 
solable, without eating or drinking. 

" I blame Cleitus severely," says Arrian, " for his 
insolence to his sovereign, and I pity the misfortune 
of Alexander, who thus proved himself the slave of 
two evils, wine and anger, by neither of which ought 
a temperate man to be overcome. But I praise Alex- 
ander for his subsequent conduct, as he became in- 
stantly conscious of having perpetrated an atrocious 
deed." " The majority of historians write that he 
retired to his chamber and lav there lamenting and 
calling on Cleitus by name, and on his sister, Lar- 
nice, his nurse, and saying how generously he, when 
grown up, had repaid her fostering care. Her sons 
had already fallen in battle in his defence, and now 
he, with his own hand, had murdered her brother. 
He did not cease to call himself the murderer of his 
friend, and obstinately abstained for three days, not 
only from food and drink, but also from all atten- 
tion to his person." 


By degrees he allowed his friends to mitigate the 
violence of his grief, and especially listened to the 
consolations of Aristander, who imputed the misfor- 
tune to the immediate displeasure of Dionysus, who 
had thus severely punished the King for the neglect 
with which he had been treated. He, therefore, of- 
fered an extraordinary sacrifice to the Theban god, 
and was happy to impute the rash deed to the anger 
of a deity and not to his own infirmity of temper. 
It may be added, that the extreme irritation, and 
consequent frenzy, displayed by Alexander on this 
melancholy occasion, may have partly been caused 
by the severe blow in the nape of the neck and back 
of the head, which he had received the preceding 
summer in the assault of Cyropolis. 

^Numerous recruits from southern Greece and 
Macedonia joined the winter quarters at Bactra, 
where probably also Alexander heard of the defeat 
of Agis, king of Sparta, and his allies, by the regent 
Antipater. Curtius writes that the first informa- 
tion of the actual commencement of hostilities did 
not reach Alexander before his first visit to Bactra. 
And the expressions of ^Eschines, as to the situation 
of Alexander at that period, can only be applicable 
to his Bactrian and Sogdian campaigns. 

A second embassy from the king of the Scythians 
brought valuable presents, and offered the daughter 
of their sovereign in marriage. Alexander received 
them kindly as before, but declined the honor of a 
Scythian connection. 

To Bactra also came Pharasmanes, king of the 


Chorasmians, escorted by fifteen hundred cavalry. 
His object was to pay his respects to the conqueror of 
Asia, and to offer his services in guiding and provis- 
ioning the army, if the king wished to subdue the na- 
tions to the north and west of the Caspian sea. 
Pharasmanes was treated with due honors, and told 
to place himself in communication with Artabazus, 
satrap of Bactria. Alexander declined his offers for 
the present, as he was anxious to enter India ; but 
added that it was his intention at a future period to 
conduct a large naval and land force into the Euxine, 
where the co-operation of the king of Chorasmia 
would be thankfully received. 

This Chorasmia, unknown to the ancient geo- 
graphers, is the modern Kharasm, of which the pres- 
ent capital is Khiva, situated in the delta of the 
Oxus, not much inferior in population and magni- 
tude to the delta of the Nile. Had Alexander known 
of its proximity to the Sogd, he would in all prob- 
ability have paid it a visit. But we cannot doubt 
that Pharasmanes represented it as far more dis- 
tant than it really was, since he spoke of " his neigh- 
bors the Colchians and Amazons." This is also 
evident from the supposition of Alexander, that the 
king of Kharasm, on the lake Aral, could aid his 
operations in the Euxine. The omission to trace 
the course and ascertain the termination of the great 
rivers Oxus and Jaxartes was contrary to Alexander's 
usual habits of research, and eagerness to extend the 
boundaries of the known world. For this, perhaps, 
two reasons may be given: the want of ship timber 


in Bactria and Sogdiana; and the King's expecta- 
tion that his future operations in the Caspian would 
leave nothing obscure in that quarter. 

Before he left Bactra, the unfortunate Bessus was 
brought before an assembly, condemned to have his 
nose and ears mutilated, and to be sent to Ecbatana 
to meet his fate in the great council of the Medes and 



Bactria and Sogdiana were still in a state of in- 
surrection, as well as Margiana; Alexander, there- 
fore, left Craterus with four lieutenants to subdue 
and pacify the Bactrians, while he himself a second 
time crossed the Oxus. He entered Sogdiana, and 
separated his army into five divisions; he himself 
commanded one, the others were led by Hephsestion, 
Perdiccas, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, and Coenus. 
These, after scouring the country in all directions, 
and reducing the strongholds of the insurgents, 
united under the walls of Maracanda. Hence He- 
pha?stion was sent to found a city at the lower end 
of the Sogd, and Coenus, supported by Artabazus, 
marched eastward towards the Massagetse, in whose 
territories Spitamenes was said to have taken refuge. 
Alexander himself marched northward, and subdued 
most of the insurgents, who still held out in that 
quarter. But Spitamenes, finding Sogdiana thus 
guarded against his operations, changed the scene of 
action. He persuaded 600 Massageta? to join his 
Bactrian and Sogdian troops in an expedition into 
Bactria. Thev crossed to the left bank of the Oxus, 
took by storm a border fortress, and advanced within 


Mtat. 28.] INSURRECTION. 235 

sight of the capital itself. With the assistance of 
the Scythians he gathered together a large booty, 
principally flecks and herds, with which he prepared 
to return to the desert. 

There happened to be then stationed at Bactra a 
few of the Companion cavalry and other soldiers, 
who were recovering their health and strength after 
wounds and illness. These, indignant at the inso- 
lence of the Scythians, sallied forth, and by the sud- 
denness of their attack dispersed the enemy, and were 
in the act of returning with the rescued booty; but, 
not conducting themselves with sufficient attention to 
the rules of discipline, (as their most effective com- 
manders were Peithon, master of the king's house- 
hold, and Aristonicus, a minstrel) they were over- 
taken and nearly all destroyed by Spitamenes. Pei- 
thon was taken prisoner, but the minstrel fought and 
fell like a brave man, — contrary (says Arrian) to 
what might have been expected from one of his craft. 
The observation of Arrian proves that the minstrels 
of his days were not the same characters as in the 
time of Alexander. Aristonicus was a minstrel who 
recited heroic poems to his harp — one of the ancient 
rhapsodists, who could fight as well as sing, use the 
sword as well as the harp. 

When Craterus received information of this dis- 
aster, he pursued the Massageta? with the greatest 
speed, and overtook them on the edge of the desert, 
but not before they had been reinforced by 1,000 of 
their mounted countrymen. A keen conflict ensued, 
in which the Macedonians obtained the advantage, 


but the vicinity of the desert prevented them from 
profiting by it. 

At this time Artabazus, the Persian, wearied with 
the distracted state of his satrapy, asked permission 
to retire. This was granted, and Amyntas, the son 
of Nicolaus, appointed to succeed him. The suc- 
cessful resistance hitherto made by Spitamenes must 
have caused a strong sensation among his country- 
men. In reading general history, two years seem 
scarcely an object of calculation, but to contempo- 
raries they appear in a far different light, and a suc- 
cessful rebellion for that length of time is sufficient 
to shake the stability of the greatest empire. We 
find, consequently, that the Areians were disposed 
to revolt for a third time, at the instigation of their 
own satrap, Arsames, the successor of Satibarzanes ; 
that the satrap of the Tapeiri had refused to attend 
when summoned to the camp ; and that Oxydates, the 
Median satrap, was wilfully neglecting his duty. 
Atropates, a Persian nobleman of the highest rank, 
was sent to displace and succeed Oxydates; and Sta- 
sanor and Phrataphernes, the Parthian satrap, had 
been commissioned to seize Arsames. Thev had sue- 
ceeded, and now brought the Areian satrap in chains 
to the camp. Stasanor, one of the Companions, and 
a native of Soli, was sent to succeed him as satrap 
both of Areia and the Drangce; and Phrataphernes, 
to apprehend the Tapeirian satrap, and bring him 
into the camp. 

Ccenus, with a powerful force, still continued on 
the eastern frontier of Sogdiana, watching the pro- 


ceedings of Spitamenes, whose activity was likely to 
be renewed by the appearance of winter, now setting 
in. He again persuaded the Massagetse to join him 
in a plundering excursion into Sogdiana. This was 
not difficult, as they had no settled homes, but could 
easily, if invaded, remove their families, flocks, and 
herds, into the inmost recesses of eastern Tartary; 
they were not, therefore, much afraid to provoke the 
wrath of Alexander, and prepared to accompany 
Spitamenes and his troops with 3,000 horsemen. 

Coenus was not taken by surprise, but led his troops 
to meet the invaders. A bloody contest took place, 
in which 800 of the Scythian cavalry were left on the 
field of battle ; the survivors, accompanied by Spita- 
menes, fled back to the desert. The victory was de- 
cisive, and the Bactrians and Sogdians, who had 
hitherto adhered to the fortunes of Spitamenes, gave 
up the cause as lost, and surrendered to Coenus. This 
conduct was probably accelerated by their allies of 
the desert, who, when the battle had proved unsuc- 
cessful, indemnified themselves for their loss by plun- 
dering the baggage of those whom they professed to 
aid. On their return home they received the intelli- 
gence that the King himself was preparing to pene- 
trate into their country. Alarmed by this report, 
and dispirited by their late defeat, they seized Spita- 
menes, cut off his head, and sent it as a peace-offer- 
ing to Alexander. Thus perished the only Persian 
whose talents and spirit had rendered him formida- 
ble to the Macedonians. Upon this Coenus returned 
to the winter quarters at Nautaca, near Maracanda, 


where Craterus soon afterwards arrived to announce 
the pacification of Bactria. 

While Alexander, at the commencement of this 
campaign, was encamped on the banks of the Oxus, 
two springs, one of water, another of oil, burst forth 
near his tent. The prodigy was mentioned to Pto- 
lemy, the son of Lagus, who reported it to the king. 
Alexander sacrificed on the occasion, under the guid- 
ance of the diviners. Aristander said that the foun- 
tain of oil signified great labors, but victory also at 
the close of them. Whatever may be our opinion as 
to the occurrence of the prodigy, we may be certain 
that Aristander's prediction was verified by the 
events of the campaign, and that probably, as it was 
the least glorious, so also it was the most toilsome 
of all the Asiatic campaigns. The whole of the land 
was in arms ; the Macedonians had to spread them- 
selves in small bodies over the face of a country, 
which is capable of maintaining an immense popu- 
lation, provided, under a wise and beneficent gov- 
ernment, the waters of the great rivers be judiciously 
diffused and carefully husbanded. At present it is 
in the hands of the most bigoted Mahometans in 
Asia ; but in the tenth century, according to Ebu 
Haukal, Mawaralnahr alone could furnish 300,000 
cavalry and 300,000 infantry for foreign service, 
without feeling their absence. 



Some strong places still held out. Alexander, 
therefore, with the first peep of spring, or rather as 
soon as the extreme severity of the winter had re- 
laxed, led his army into Sogdiana, in order to besiege 
a precipitous rock, where, as in an impregnable for- 
tress, Oxyartes, a Bactrian chief, had placed his 
wife and children, while he kept the field. When 
the Macedonians arrived at the foot of it, they dis- 
covered that it was inaccessible on every side, and 
abundantly provisioned for a long blockade. A 
heavy fall of snow increased the difficulties of the 
assailants, and the confidence of the barbarians, who 
were thus furnished with plenty of water. 

This last observation by Arrian partly accounts for 
the total silence, as far as my researches have gone, 
of all the Arabian geographers and historians con- 
cerning this apparently impregnable and certainly 
indestructible fortress; for the rock, it appears, had 
no springs, and depended upon the heavens for its 
supplies of water ; but at the time the Macedonians, 
perhaps, were ignorant of this circumstance, or Alex- 
ander would not wait until the hot weather set in. 

He, nevertheless, summoned the place, and prom- 



ised safety and protection to all, with liberty to re- 
turn to their homes, on condition of surrendering the 
fortress. The garrison answered with little cour- 
tesy, that Alexander, if he wished to capture the rock, 
must furnish himself with winged men. When the 
king received this answer, he proclaimed through the 
camp, that the first soldier who ascended the rock, 
should receive twelve talents; the second, eleven; the 
third, ten ; and so down to the twelfth, who was to re- 
ceive one talent, or 300 dareics. 

It is impossible for us in the present day exactly 
to appreciate the current value of any of the ancient 
coins, because that depended not only on the weight, 
but also on the comparative abundance or scarcity of 
the precious metals. The dareic was a gold coin of 
the purest kind, equal in weight to fifty Attic 
drachmae, each of which is estimated as amounting to 
two pennyweights six grains of English troy weight ; 
but we may form some idea of its real marketable 
value, when we read, that in the time of Xenophon 
one dareic a month was regarded as full pay for the 
Greek heavy-armed soldier.* We may, therefore, 
easily imagine the emulation that would natiirally be 
excited among the Macedonians by this proclamation, 
which promised wealth and independence to the most 
successful, and a handsome competency to the twelfth 
in order. From the great numbers who presented 
themselves for this dangerous service, the three hun- 

* The soldiers of that day, and even down to modern times, 
regarded plunder as the chief part of their pay. The silver 
dareic, here referred to, was worth 27£ cents. 

^Etat. 29.] THE ROCK OF OXYARTES. 241 

dred best rock-climbers were selected ; these were fur- 
nished with a sufficient number of the iron pegs used 
in fixing down the canvas of the tents, to be inserted 
where necessary in the interstices of the rock, and in 
the frozen snow. To each peg was attached a strong 
piece of cord, by way of ladder. The climbers se- 
lected the most precipitous face of the rock, as being 
the most likely to be carelessly guarded, and com- 
menced their labors as soon as it was dark. Thirty 
out of the three hundred lost their hold and footing, 
fell headlong, and sunk so deep into the snow, that 
their bodies could not be recovered for burial ; the re- 
mainder succeeded in their perilous enterprise, and 
by break of day reached the top of the precipice ; this 
was considerably higher than the broad platform oc- 
cupied by the barbarians, who were not immediately 
aware of their ascent. Alexander, therefore, again 
sounded a parley, and called on the garrison to sur- 
render the fortress, as he had already procured the 
winged soldiers, with the want of whom they had 
before taunted him. The barbarians were astonished, 
on looking up, to see the summit occupied by Mace- 
donian soldiers, who, according to orders, shook long 
pieces of linen in the air, to imitate the motions of 
wings. They, therefore, surrendered without fur- 
ther delay, and thus proved the truth of Alexander's 
favorite maxim, " That no place was impregnable to 
the brave nor secure to the timorous." For although 
we need not suppose, according to the account, that 
the defenders were 30,000 in number, yet it is clear, 
that a few brave men could easily have overpowered 


an enemy without defensive arms, without a chance 
of being supported, and with their limbs necessarily 
benumbed by the cold and their excessive night fa- 
tigue. Among the captives were the family of Ox- 
yartes, whose eldest daughter, Roxana, is said to have 
been, with the exception of the wife of Darius, the 
loveliest woman seen by the Macedonians during 
their Asiatic expedition. 

The Bactrians held a middle place between the 
Persians and Scythians, partaking more of the pol- 
ished manners of the former than of the rudeness of 
the latter. Thev still exist in Khorasan and Mawa- 
ralnahr, under the modified name of Bukhars. 
AYearied with the unceasing succession of new tribes 
of conquerors from the deserts of Tartary, they have 
for ages renounced the practice of arms, and, like the 
Armenians and other eastern nations, retain their in- 
dustrious habits and peaceful occupations, as far as 
their barbarous masters will allow them. The Uzbek 
Tatars, the present sovereigns of these regions, call 
them Tajiks, or Burgesses, a name equally de- 
scriptive of their social and mercantile character. 
" They have, (writes my author,) for the most part, 
large eyes, black and lively ; their hair black and very 
fine ; in short, they partake nothing of the deformity 
of the Tartars, among whom they inhabit. The 
women, who are generally tall and well-shaped, have 
fine complexions and very beautiful features." 

The dazzling beauty of his young captive made a 
deep impression upon the victor, and the momentary 
passion ripened into a lasting attachment. But, 

^Etat. 29.] THE BACTRIAN ROXANA. 243 

warrior as he was, and with the bad example of his 
model, Achilles, before his eyes, he scorned to take 
advantage of her unprotected state, and publicly sol- 
emnized his marriage with her. It is said that he 
consulted his two friends, Craterus and Hephaestion, 
upon the subject, and that Craterus strongly dis- 
suaded him from an alliance so repugnant to Mace- 
donian prejudices, while the gentler nature of He- 
phsestion saw no political reasons powerful enough 
to prevent his friend and sovereign from lawfully 
gratifying an honorable passion. I doubt the truth 
of the report — for I see no cause for supposing that 
the act was repugnant to the feelings of the Mace- 
donians. Why should a Bactrian bride be more de- 
grading to Alexander, than Illyrian and Thracian 
wives had been to Philip ? * 

Oxyartes no sooner heard of the king's attachment 
to his child, than he immediately came into the camp 
without fear or ceremony, and was welcomed with all 
the demonstrations of joy and respect due to the 
father of the young queen. The union with their 
countrywoman was regarded by all the natives as a 
compliment to themselves, and these regions of Upper 
[Asia, as they were the most reluctant to submit, were 
also the last to shake off the Macedonian yoke. 

Arrian's account of these two campaigns is noil 

given with his usual clearness ; he seems to have been 

wearied with recording the numerous marches and 

* The fruit of this marriage was a son born shortly after the 
death of Alexander in the year 323. Twelve years later, 311, 
both mother and son were for political reasons murdered at 
Amphipolis, Macedonia. 


countermarches necessarily made during this tedious 
and desultory warfare. Although, therefore, I have 
followed him in the preceding account, I am strongly 
inclined to believe that the rock, where Roxana and 
her family were captured, was not in Sogdiana but in 
Bactria, where Strabo has placed it ; for what could 
a Bactrian chief have to do with Sogdiana, or why 
look for a refuge beyond the Oxus, when the Paropa- 
misus, with its summits and recesses, presented a 
natural retreat for the insurgent Bactrians ? If, 
therefore, it was in Bactria, there can be no doubt 
that it was the same hill fortress which was captured 
by Timour * previous to his expedition into India, 
and the description of which answers exactly to the 
rock of Oxyartes. It ought to be added, that accord- 
ing to the tradition of the natives, it had been be- 
sieged in vain by the great Iskender, the name by 
which Alexander is still popularly known in all the 
regions visited by him. 

We hear nothing in Arrian's regular narrative of 
the expedition into Margiana, although Alexander 
founded a city there, and Arrian mentions the River 
Epardus, among the Mardi, as one of those ascer- 
tained by the Macedonians to have its termination in 
the desert. As, however, we find in other places 
that the Parrctaea? and the Mardi are continually con- 
founded with each other, it mav fairlv be inferred 
that the Parsetacse, in the vicinity of Bactria, were 
the Mardi of Margiana. Curtius, although in a con- 

* Better known as Tamerlane (1333-1405), the great con- 
queror of western Asia. 


fused manner, mentions the march across the Ochus 
and the foundation of the city Margiana. From 
these facts, I venture to assign the following probable 
route to Alexander. From Sogdiana he crossed the 
Oxus, and entered Margiana, a fertile district, sur- 
rounded on all sides by the desert, and watered by 
the modern Murg-ab, called Margus by Strabo, and 
Epardus by Arrian. According to the former writer, 
the Macedonians retained the native names of some 
rivers, gave names entirely new to others, and some- 
times translated the native names into Greek. To 
the last class plainly belong the Polytimetus or 
"highly valuable," and the Epardus or " the irri- 
gator." Alexander built a city, called after himself, 
on the latter river, which soon fell into decay, but 
was restored by Antiochus, who gave it the name of 
Antiocheia Margiana. It still continues to be a 
large and flourishing city, under the modern appel- 
lation of Meru Shah-Ian. From the banks of the 
Margus, he marched to the Ochus, the modern Ted- 
gen, crossed it and entered the territory of the Parse- 
tacse. Here also was a rock-fortress, something sim- 
ilar to the one already captured. It was called — ac- 
cording to Arrian — the rock of Chorienes. At the 
foot it was four miles in circuit, and the road lead- 
ing from the bottom to the summit was more than a 
mile long. This was the only ascent, narrow and 
difficult of access, even were no opposition offered. A 
deep ravine separated the rock from the only rising 
ground, whence it could possibly be assailed with any 
prospect of success. Alexander proposed to fill up 


this intervening gulf, and thus imitate on land what 
at the siege of Tyre he had already attempted by 
sea. The army was formed into two divisions. He 
himself superintended the operations of one half by 
day, while the other half, divided into three watches, 
worked by night under the inspection of Perdiccas, 
Leonnatus, and Ptolemy. But the work proceeded 
slowly, as the labors of the whole day did not advance 
the mound more than thirty feet, and the labors of 
the night not so much. The impatient soldiers, 
therefore, constructed long ladders from the tall pine 
trees, with which the hill was covered, and descended 
into the ravine. Here, in proper places and at short 
intervals, they erected upright posts. The summits 
of these they connected by transverse pieces of tim- 
ber, on which they placed hurdles, and finally earth, 
so as to form a broad and solid platform; on this 
again they erected covered galleries, which protected 
them from the enemy's missiles. The barbarians at 
first ridiculed the attempt, but the gradual approach 
of the platform brought them within reach of the 
Macedonian darts, which soon cleared a part of the 
rock of its defenders. 

Chorienes, more astonished at the extraordinary 
exertions of the besiegers than having any immedi- 
ate cause to fear the result, sent a messenger to Alex- 
ander, and expressed a wish to have a conference with 
Oxyartes. The latter, by permission, ascended the 
rock, and -partly by affirming that no place could 
withstand the attack of Alexander, and partly by ex- 
tolling his generous disposition, of which he, the 

^Etat. 29.] ROCK OF CHORINES— KELAT. 247 

speaker, was an example, persuaded Chorienes to sub- 
mit himself to the good pleasure of the besiegers. 
When the rock had been delivered up, the conqueror, 
escorted by a strong body guard, ascended and 
viewed, not without admiration, the natural defences 
of the place. This celebrated fortress is, if I am not 
mistaken, the modern Kelat, the favorite stronghold 
and treasury of Nadir Shah. In description the two 
exactly correspond, nor is it probable that a place of 
the natural strength and importance of Kelat could 
have been passed over in silence by the historians of 
Alexander. During the siege, a heavy fall of snow 
had much incommoded the assailants, who were also 
badly supplied with provisions. Chorienes, there- 
fore, to show his gratitude, as his stronghold and 
government had been restored to him, provisioned the 
army for two months, and distributed from tent to 
tent, corn, wine, and salted meat. He added, that 
this munificent donation had not exhausted one tenth 
of his regular stores. Two chiefs, Austanes and Ca- 
tanes, still kept the field in Parsetaca. Craterus was 
sent against them, brought them to battle, slew Ca- 
tanes, and brought Austanes prisoner to Bactra, 
where the whole army re-assembled previous to the 
expedition into India. It would have been desirable 
to have heard more of Catanes, who, according to 
Curtius, was one of the early accomplices of Bessus, 
and bore the character of being deeply skilled in 
magic arts and Chakkean lore. The spirit of resist- 
ance died with him, and all the northern provinces 
became tranquil. Such, however, was the favorable 


impression made upon Alexander by the free spirit 
and gallant bearing of these barbarians, that he se- 
lected thirty thousand of their youth, probably all in 
their fifteenth or sixteenth year, who were to be 
taught the Greek language and Macedonian disci- 
pline, and to have the same dress and arms as the 
soldiers of the phalanx. 

Alexander, like most other great warriors, was 
passionately fond of hunting. He even pursued the 
fox with great eagerness, when nobler ganie could not 
be found. But at Bazaria, which probably is the 
modern Bokhara, he found a royal park, which, ac- 
cording to the traditions of the natives, had not been 
disturbed for four generations. These parks, some- 
thing similar to the forests of our JTorman kingsj 
were scattered over the face of the empire, and the 
animals bred therein reserved for the diversion of 
the monarch himself. A spot well supplied with 
wood and water was selected for the purpose, inclosed 
within lofty walls, and stocked with every species of 
wild beasts. The younger Cyrus, according to Xeno- 
phon, possessed one of great extent round the sources 
of the Meander, and we learn from St. Jerome, that. 
in his age, Babylon itself had been converted by the 
Parthian kings into a royal park. Julian, The Apos- 
tate, in his fatal expedition to the East, broke into 
one of these inclosures, and destroyed the wild beasts 
with the assistance of his army. 

We may infer from the report of the natives, that 
the remoteness of the Bazarian chase had prevented 
the last four monarchs from visiting it. Alexander, 

Mtat. 29.] LYSIMACHUS. 249 

therefore, anticipating considerable resistance, led a 
strong detachment of his army into the royal pre- 
serve, and declared war against its denizens — few of 
which probably had ever before heard the trumpet 
sound, or seen the broad and pointed blade of the 
hunting-spear. The king was in front and on foot, 
when an enormous lion, roused from the lair in which 
he had reposed for so many years undisturbed, faced 
his assailants and seemed inclined to select the king 
for his antagonist. The lion never attacks while 
running, walking, or standing. He first crouches 
and gathers his limbs under him, and thus gives am- 
ple warning of the intended spring. 

Lysimachus, destined in time to be one of Alex- 
ander's great successors, had encountered a lion in 
single combat on the banks of the Euphrates, and had 
slain him, but not without receiving a dangerous 
stroke from the paw of the wounded brute, which 
had laid his ribs bare and seriously endangered his 
life. This gallant officer now stepped forward, 
placed himself in front of his king, but Alexander, 
jealous of the honor already acquired by his general, 
ordered him instantly to retire : saying " he could 
kill a lion as well as Lvsimachus." His words were 
confirmed bv the deed, for he received the animal's 
spring on the point of his hunting-spear with so much 
judgment and coolness that the weapon entered a vital 
part and proved instantly fatal. It was on this oc- 
casion that a Spartan ambassador, who had been 
deputed to wait upon him after the defeat of Agis, 


exclaimed, " Bravo, Alexander, well hast thou won 
the prize of royalty from the king of the woods ! " 

But the Macedonians, who were too sensible of the 
value of their sovereign's life to permit it thus to de- 
pend upon the critical management of a hunting 
spear, convened an assembly, and passed a decree, 
that thenceforward Alexander should not combat 
wild beasts on foot, nor hunt without being person- 
ally attended by a certain number of the great offiU 
cers. Probably this was not the first time in which 
the king's life had been endangered by wild beasts. 
For Craterus consecrated, in the temple of Delphi, a 
hunting-piece in bronze, — the joint workmanship of 
Lysippus and Leochares — which represented a lion 
and dogs — the king fighting with the lion — and 
Craterus hastening to his prince's assistance. These 
hunting parties were not only dangerous from 
the ferocitv of the wild beasts, but also from the un- 
skilful or rash management of their weapons by the 
followers of the chase. Thus Craterus had his thigh 
pierced through by the lance of Perdiccas, while they 
were engaged in hunting the ichneumon on the banks 
of the l^ile. Four thousand head of animals of vari" 
ous kinds were slaughtered in the great park at Ba- 
zaria, and the sport was closed by a public banquet, 
principally composed of the venison. It ought to be 
added, that even Curtius allows that the foolish story 
of the exposure of Lvsimachus to a lion had no other 
foundation than the facts above recorded. 

But there occurred, either during this or another 
hunting party about the same period, a circumstance 


which in its consequences had well nigh proved fatal 
to Alexander. 

It had been the policy of Philip to educate the sons 
of the Macedonian nobility in his own palace, both 
for the sake of their greater improvement, and prob- 
ably of ensuring the loyalty and fidelity of their 
parents. In order more immediately to connect them 
with the court, some of the officers about the king's 
person were entirely committed to their charge. 
They acted as the royal chamberlains; as chief 
grooms they had the care of the horses from the door 
of the stable until the king and his own immediate 
retinue were mounted. They had also to attend him 
on hunting expeditions, probably to manage the dogs, 
and supply the king with fresh weapons. The title 
of royal pages, therefore, will suit them better than 
any other in our language. Hermolaus, the son of 
Sopolis, one of these young gentlemen, had in the 
heat of a boar-hunt, forgotten his duty and slain the 
animal — perhaps unfairly, (for the laws of the chase 
in all ages and climes have been very arbitrary,) — 
certainly so as to interfere with the royal sport. The 
page was deprived of his horse, and ordered to be 
flogged ; and it would appear this was the usual pun- 
ishment for such offences. But Hermolaus regarded 
it as a personal disgrace, not to be effaced but in the 
blood of his sovereign. He persuaded Sostratus, the 
son of Amyntas, his particular friend among the 
pages, to enter into his designs. Sostratus succeeded 
in seducing Antipater, the son of Asclepiodorus, the 
satrap of Syria, Epimenes the son of Arses, Anticlea 


the son of Theocritus, and Philotas the son of Carsis 
the Thracian, to become partners in the conspiracy. 

The pages in turn watched the royal bed-chamber, 
and the young traitors agreed to assassinate the king 
on the night when it would be the duty of Anticles 
to watch. But Alexander did not enter his cham- 
ber on that night until the pages were changed. The 
cause assigned for his absence is curious. A Syrian 
female, an enthusiast and supposed to be divinely in- 
spired, had attached herself to Alexander, and had 
so far ingratiated herself with the inmates of the 
palace, as to be allowed free ingress and egress at all 
hours of the day and night. It was often her prac- 
tice to watch all night at the king's bed-side. Her 
predictions also had been so successful, that either 
from policy or superstition great respect was paid to 
her person and attention to her advice. On this 
memorable night she met Alexander as he was retir- 
ing from the banqueting room to his chamber, and be- 
sought him with eagerness and earnestness to return 
and prolong the revelry till day-break. 

The king, who probably had never before received 
a similar exhortation from the prophetess, immediate- 
ly replied, " that the gods gave wholesome counsel," 
and complied with the advice. It is more than prob- 
able that the Syrian whose privileged habits enabled 
her freely to visit every place, had overheard the 
conversation of the pages, and had taken this strange 
mode of counteracting their treason. 

Strange however as it must appear — it proved suf- 
ficient. For on the next day Epimenes communi- 


cated the plot to Charicles, the son of Menander, who 
immediately informed Eurylochus, the brother of 
Epimenes. The latter gave the same information to 
Ptolemy, the son of Lague, who laid it before the 
king. The conspirators were seized, put to the tor- 
ture, confessed their own guilt, and named some ac- 
complices. They were brought before the Macedo- 
nian assembly, where, according to some authors, 
Hermolaus spoke at length a'nd apologised for his 
treason. His arguments were, that the Median dress 
and the attempt to enforce the ceremony of prostra- 
tion, the drunken revelries and consequent somno- 
lency of Alexander — were more than could be any 
longer tolerated by a freeman ; and that he had done 
well in desiring to deliver the Macedonians from a 
tyrant who had put Philotas to death unjustly, Par- 
menio without even the forms of law, and who had 
murdered Cleitus in a fit of drunkenness. But the 
assembly had no sympathy with the young regicide, 
who wished to screen his own vindictive passions 
under the cloak of patriotism and love of freedom. 
They therefore, condemned him and his associates to 
death, but in executing the sentence they did not use 
their darts, as in the case of Philotas, but over- 
whelmed the culprits with stones. 

This conspiracy originated not in Macedonian but 
democratic principles, nor ought Alexander to have 
been astonished at the consequences of his own con- 
duct. He was the patron of democracy in the Asiatic 
cities. He delighted in the conversation, and en- 
couraged the visits, of the democracy philosophers 


of Southern Greece. Had he confined himself within 
these bounds, his conduct would have been as harm- 
less as the coquetry of Catherine of Russia and of 
Frederick of Prussia, with similar characters in mod- 
ern times. But he committed a serious mistake, in 
entrusting the most important part of the education 
of the royal pages to Calisthenes. This man had been 
a pupil of Aristotle ; according to some writers he 
was his nephew; nor can it be doubted that he owed 
his situation in the court of Alexander to the recom- 
mendation of the Stagyrite. He was an Olynthian 
by birth, rude of manner and bold of speech, of strong 
intellect and considerable eloquence. His principles 
were those of extreme democracy, nor perhaps had he 
forgotten the destruction of his country by Philip ; at 
least it may be inferred from the following anecdote 
that he had not. " Once at the king's table he was 
requested to pronounce an extemporaneous eulogy 
upon the Macedonians. This he did with so much 
eloquence, that the guests, not content with applaud- 
ing him, rose up and covered him with their garlands. 
Upon this Alexander said, in the words of Euripides, 

" When great the theme 'tis easy to excel ; " 

" But now, Calisthenes, show your powers in repre- 
senting the faults of the Macedonians, that they may 
see them and amend. " The orator immediately took 
the other side of the question, grossly abused the 
Macedonians, vilified Philip, whose successes he im- 
puted to the divisions among the republican Greeks, 

-ffitat. 29.] CALISTHENES. 255 

and not to his own talents, and concluded with a quo- 
tation to this purpose — 

"The wicked wretch through discord honor won." 

By this he drew upon himself the implacable hatred 
of the Macedonians, and Alexander said, that " he 
had given a specimen not of his eloquence but of his 

Plutarch's account of this ill-judged exhibition is 
closed with the observation of Aristotle, that the elo- 
quence of Calisthenes was indeed great, but that he 
wanted common sense. It appears that he indulged 
in violent speeches, even in the presence of Aristotle, 
who is said to have answered one of them by simply 
repeating the Homeric line — 

" Short date of life, my son, these words forebode." 

[A quotation, perhaps, more applicable to the invective 
against the Macedonians and Philip — than it could 
be to any other speech. Of late he had lost ground 
in Alexander's favor, which had only induced him to 
become more insolent in his manners. He had re- 
peatedly quitted the king's presence, with the follow- 
ing line of Homer on his lips — 

" Patroclus died a better man than thou." 

It is also recorded, that when asked by Philotas, 
whom the Athenians most honored, he answered, Har- 
modius and Aristogeiton, because they slew one of the 
two tyrants and abolished the tyranny. Philotas then 
asked, where could the slayer of a tyrant obtain a safe 


asylum ? " If nowhere else," said Calisthenes, 
%i among the Athenians, who had defended in arms 
the helpless Heracleidse against Eurystheus, the then 
powerful tyrant of all Greece." 

It is difficult for persons who form their general 
idea of a Greek philosopher from Plato, Xenophon, 
and Aristotle, to conceive the difference between these 
truly great men and the swarm of sophists, who in 
later times usurped the name of philosophers. Plato, 
Xenophon, and Aristotle were gentlemen in the most 
comprehensive sense of the word, the companions and 
friends of monarchs, and who knew how to respect the 
rights and privileges of others, without betraying 
their own dignity and independence. But the later 
sophist, the imitator of Diogenes, found it much 
easier to acquire the name of a philosopher by despis- 
ing the decencies and even charities of life, and incul- 
cating the doctrine of indiscriminate equality: — 
when I say indiscriminate, I mean that all distinc- 
tions except those of superior intellect and virtue, 
monopolized of course by the philosophers and their 
admirers, were to be contemned and set at nought. 
Thus Calisthenes was accustomed to say publicly, 
that Alexander had much more need of him than he 
had of Alexander — that the king's achievements were 
entirely at his mercy — and that his immortality did 
not depend upon the falsehoods propagated respecting 
his birth, but on what he, the historian of his actions, 
might choose to relate. Hermolaus was his favorite 
pupil, and strongly attached both to his person and 
doctrines. It is not wonderful, therefore, that the 


conduct of the pupil should have excited suspicions 
against the preceptor. All the writers agree that the 
conspirators confessed that Calisthenes had always 
given a willing ear to their complaints against the 
king. Some add, that when Hermolaus was bitterly 
lamenting his punishment and disgrace,. Calisthenes 
told him " to remember that he was now a man ; " an 
expression, after such a castigation, liable to a very 
dangerous interpretation. 

But I see no reason whatsoever to doubt the united 
testimony of Ptolemy and Aristobulus, who both 
wrote, that the pages had confessed that they had been 
incited and encouraged by Calisthenes in the prosecu- 
tion of their plot. He was therefore seized and im- 
prisoned. Respecting his end Aristobulus and Ptol- 
emy disagree ; the former says he died in custody, the 
other that he was first tortured and then hanged. On 
such a point the commander of the guard must be the 
best authority; but the account followed by Aristo- 
bulus was probably the one made public at the time. 

I have dwelt the longer on the subject of Calisthe- 
nes, because his chains and death were regarded by 
his brethren of the long beard and short cloak, as an 
insult and an outrage committed against their order. 
He was regarded as a martyr to the great doctrine 
not of the equality but of the superiority of the self- 
styled philosophers to the kings of the earth, and his 
persecutor was loaded with slanders and calumnies, 
many of which are believed to this day. 

Alexander left Amyntas governor of the regions 
between the Jaxartes and the Paropamisus, with 


3500 cavalry and 10,000 infantry. The spring had 

already passed away and the summer had set in, when 
he set out from Bactria to commence his Indian ex- 
pedition. His troops for the last three years had been 
engaged in hard service, abounding more with blows 
than booty; — he proposed therefore to remunerate 
them for their past labors by leading them to attack 
more wealth v and less warlike nations. He soon ar- 
rived at the northern foot of the Paropamisus, where, 
according to Curtius, he had already founded a city. 
Nor is this unlikely; for, according to Strabo, he 
founded eight cities in Sogdiana and Bactria, and 
one of them might well have been intended to com- 
mand the southern end of the main pass over the 
mountains. The citv Anderab, on the same site, still 
retains a considerable portion of Alexander's name. 
" The town of Anderab (writes an old traveller) i? 
the most southern which the Usbeks possess at present, 
being situate at the foot of the mountains which sep- 
arate the dominions of Persia and the Great Mogul 
from Great Bukharia. As there is no other way of 
crossing those mountains towards India with beasts 
of carriage but throuah this citv, all travellers and 
goods from Great Bukharia, designed for that coun- 
try, must pass this way ; on which account the khan 
of Balk constantly maintains a £ood number of sol- 
diers in the place, though otherwise it is not very 

He then entered the defiles, and in ten days arrived 
fit the Alexandreia which he had founded two years 
before. He had occasion to be displeased with the 


governor, whom he therefore removed ; he also added 
new colonists to the city. But it did not prosper long 
under the name of Alexandria. The probability 
however is, that the more ancient Ortospana, which 
the new city was to replace, recovered either its name 
or importance. For Strabo writes, that the main road 
from Bactra to the Indies, was across the Paropa- 
misus to Ortospana ; and Ptolemy has no Alexandria 
in that neighborhood, but a Cabura, also called Ortos- 
pana. Cabura, without any real change, is the mod- 
ern Cabul, the key of India in all ages, whether the 
invader is to advance from the west or the north, from 
Candahar or from Balk. The Paropamisian Alexan- 
dria was, therefore, either the very same as Cabul, or 
must have been built in its immediate vicinity. The 
distance on the map between Anderab and Cabul, is 
about a hundred miles. Nor could the Macedonian 
army, with its regular baggage, have crossed the in- 
tervening hills in less than ten days, for the road, 
such as it is, follows principally the beds of torrents ; 
and Timour, who was ill, and had to be carried in a 
litter, on his return from India, was obliged, during 
this route, to cross one river twenty-six and another 
twenty-two times. 

He then advanced to a city called Nicsea, where 
he sacrificed to Minerva, and ordered the satraps to 
the west of the Indus to come and meet him. Taxiles 
was the chief of these, and both he and the minor 
satraps obeyed, brought presents, and promised to 
give the King all the elephants which they possessed. 
Here he divided his army. Hephsestion and Perdic- 


cas, with one division, were sent through the province 
of Peucaliotes, of which Peucela, was the capital, to 
the banks of the Indus, there to construct a bridge, 
and Taxiles and the other satraps were ordered to 
accompany them. Antes, the governor of Peucaliotes 
proved refractory, but was soon subdued, and his 
chief city, probably the modern Peishwar, was taken : 
the two generals then proceeded to execute their fur- 
ther orders. 

Alexander, with the rest of the army, marched to 
the left, into the mountainous regions intersected bv 
the western branches of the Indus. He crossed in 
succession the Choes, or Choaspes, the Euaspla and 
the Gurseus. It is useless to attempt to follow him 
through these unknown regions; but his personal 
adventures were full of incident. 

Between the Choes (which still retains its name, 
and must be crossed in travelling from Cabul to the 
Indus) and the Euaspla he besieged a city defended 
by a double wall. In the assault by which the out- 
ward wall was carried, Alexander was wounded by 
an arrow in the shoulder; the warriors of his army 
pronounced it slight, but their only reason for calling 
it so appears to have been that the point had not pene- 
trated through. Leonnatus and Ptolemy were also 
wounded. The army, as usual in such cases, took 
ample vengeance for the king's wound. Craterus was 
left in this district, to complete its reduction, while 
Alexander moved into the country, between the Euas- 
pla and the Gura?us. 

The inhabitants of the first city approached by the 

Mtsit. 29.] A HOMERIC COMBAT. 261 

Macedonians, set fire to it, and fled to the mountains ; 
they were pursued and many overtaken before they 
reached their fastnesses. 

In the pursuit, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, saw the 
Indian king, surrounded by his guards, on one of the 
lower hills, at the foot of the mountains. He immedi- 
ately led the few troops by whom he was accompanied 
to attack him. The hill was too steep for cavalry, he 
therefore dismounted and ascended on foot. The In- 
dian seeing the small number of his supporters, so far 
from shunning the combat, advanced to meet the as- 
sailant : his weapon was a long and stout lance, and 
with this — without parting with the shaft — he struck 
Ptolemy on the breast ; the point penetrated the 
breastplate, but did not reach the body, which proba- 
bly was defended by thick quilting. Ptolemy, in re- 
turn, threw his lance, which pierced the Indian's 
thigh and brought him to the ground. But the In- 
dians on the heights, who witnessed the fall of their 
chief, rushed down to save his arms and body from 
falling into the enemy's hands. Ptolemy must there- 
fore have retired without the trophies of victory, had 
not Alexander himself arrived at the critical moment 
at the foot of the hill. He immediately ordered his 
guards to dismount, ran up, and after a severe and 
well-contested struggle, the arms and body of the 
Indian were borne away by the Macedonians. This 
was truly a Homeric combat, and had not the king 
himself been in the field, would have entitled Ptolemy 
to the second " spolia opima " won during this war. 
It is worth observing, that both Erigyus and Ptolemy, 


who thus distinguished themselves, were the youthful 
favorites of Alexander. Erigyus unfortunately had 
died at the close of the last Bactrian campaign, to the 
great sorrow of the king. Craterus, on whom de- 
volved all separate commands of consequence, was 
ordered to build a new town on the site of the one 
burnt by these Indians. Alexander marched in the 
direction of a lofty mountain, where the neighboring 
inhabitants were said to have taken refuge with their 
flocks and herds, and encamped at the foot of it. 

Ptolemy was sent to reconnoitre, and brought back 
information that, as far as he could judge, the fires 
in the enemy's stations were far more numerous than 
in the king's camp. Alexander, concluding from this 
that a combination of various tribes had taken place, 
resolved to anticipate any intended attack. He took 
with him what he judged a sufficient number of 
troops, left the rest in the camp, and ascended the 
mountain. After having approached the enemy's 
fires, and reconnoitred their position, he divided his 
force into three columns ; he himself led forward one, 
Leonnatus the other, and Ptolemy the third. They 
all proved successful in the end, although not without 
much hard fighting, as the inhabitants of these dis- 
tricts were distinguished for their hardiness and 
valor. The booty was immense. Forty thousand 
prisoners, and two hundred and thirty thousand head 
of various kinds of cattle, were captured. Alexander, 
struck with the size and activity of the Indian oxen, 
selected the finest animals from the spoil, and sent 



them to Macedonia for the sake of improving the 
breed in his native dominions. 

Thence he advanced to the river Gurseus, which he 
forded with great difficulty, as the waters were deep 
and the current strong. Like all other mountain 
streams, its bed was formed of round slippery stones, 
which rendered it difficult for the soldier to keep his 
footing. The Gurseus is probably the Suastus of Pto- 
lemy, the modern Kamah or Cashgur. The country 
to the east was inhabited by the Assaceni or AfTaceni, 
supposed to have been the ancestors of the modern 
Afghans. Their chief city was Massaga, a large and 
wealthy place ; and which agrees both in name and 
position with the modern Massagour, not far from 
the left bank of the Kamah. 

This capital was garrisoned by seven thousand In- 
dian mercenaries, warriors by profession, and prob- 
ably by caste, whose own country was far to the east. 
The inhabitants, supported by the mercenaries, ad- 
vanced into the plain and gave battle to the Mace- 
donians, but were defeated and driven into the city. 
There the resistance of the mercenaries became more 
effectual, and all attempts to carry the place by 
storm failed. The king, exposing himself as usual, 
was wounded in the leg by an arrow. In the mean- 
time the engines were brought up, and wooden towers 
constructed. The assailants in one of these had 
cleared the opposite wall of its defenders, when Alex- 
ander ordered a moveable bridge, similar to that with 
which he had captured Tyre, to be thrown across from 
the tower to the wall. This was done, and the bravest 


of the guards rushed forwards; but, unfortunately, 
their numbers and weight snapped the bridge in the 
centre, and they were all precipitated to the foot of 
the wall. Before they could extricate themselves, 
they were overwhelmed from above by every species 
of missiles, and the enemy sallied forth upon them 
through numerous posterns in the wall. 

This loss was repaired ; within four days another 
bridge had been flung from the tower to the wall. 
The garrison of mercenaries fought bravely, and as 
long as the governor lived showed no inclination to 
yield ; but when he had fallen, by a dart discharged 
from an engine, they proposed to surrender on terms. 
The best were offered, provided they would enter into 
Alexander's service. They consented, quitted the 
city, and encamped on a hillock over against the 
Macedonian camp. Some misunderstanding, how- 
ever, took place; either they mistrusted the promises 
of Alexander or were unwilling to join the foreign 
invaders ; they therefore attempted to withdraw by 
night into the neighboring cities. But Alexander 
either anticipated their movements, or overtook them 
in their flight (for both accounts are given) and put 
them all to the sword. As Arrian gives no hint of 
any breach of faith on the part of Alexander, we may 
easily pass over in silence the charge adduced by 
other writers. He prided himself particularly on the 
extreme punctuality with which lie observed all prom- 
ises, and was never known to violate his pledged 
word. At the same time it must be confessed that he 
was inexorable in punishing all those who either acted 

JEtat. 29.J THE ROCK AORNOS. 265 

with bad faith themselves, or even neglected to fulfil 
their engagements from a suspicion that he intended 
to act with bad faith to them. 

While engaged in the siege of Massaga, the King 
had detached a body of troops to invest Bezira and 
Ora. The latter was taken; but the inhabitants of 
the former, together with the whole population of the 
neighboring province, took refuge on the celebrated 
rock Aornos, reported impregnable, and to have thrice 
resisted the arms of the famed and fabulous Hercules. 
Difficulties calculated to deter others only excited the 
energies of Alexander, who regarded the present as a 
fair opportunity of entering into competition with the 
great hero of Greece. And the contest was to be of 
that nature, that the meanest soldier in the army 
could judge of its final issue. It was not a matter of 
the slightest consequence whether the rock had been 
unsuccessfully besieged or not ; for all rational pur- 
poses it was sufficient that the Macedonians were im- 
pressed with the belief, or even that the report was 
current, that his great ancestor had failed in captur- 
ing the supposed impregnable fortress. The descrip- 
tion given of the rock by Arrian is, that its circuit at 
the base was near twelve miles ; that the lowest point 
was three quarters of a mile above the plain ; and that 
on the summit there was a cultivated platform, plen- 
tifully irrigated by springs. 

On encamping at its foot, Alexander was visited 
bv some of the natives of the vicinitv, who, as usual 
in similar cases, promised to betray the secrets of the 
stronghold and conduct the Macedonians to a spot 


where the operations for the final reduction of the 
place would be much facilitated. Alexander dis- 
patched Ptolemy, with an active party of men, to 
make the necessary circuit, under the guidance of 
these voluntary traitors, and to seize the spot de- 
scribed by them. This was performed ; and Ptolemy, 
by kindling a beacon fire, indicated to the king his 
success and position. The post occupied appears to 
have been a detached summit, which considerably 
hampered the proceedings of the besieged. Alexander 
made an attempt to ascend from his side also, but was 
repulsed without much difficulty. The enemy, en- 
couraged by their success, then turned their forces 
against Ptolemy, who with difficulty maintained his 
position. In the course of the night Alexander con- 
veyed, by the hands of another Indian traitor, a letter 
to Ptolemy, containing an order to make a vigorous 
attack from his position as soon as he saw the Indians 
assailed by himself. Alexander's object was to force 
his way and join Ptolemy. The simultaneous attack 
began with the dawn, and, after a severe contest, suc- 
ceeded by mid-day ; when the Indians, being attacked 
from below by Alexander, and from above by Pto- 
lemy, retired and left the path open. Thus the Mace- 
donian force was united on the point preoccupied by 
Ptolemy. But great difficulties still remained, for 
the summit thus occupied was separated from what 
may be termed the main body of the rock by an im- 
mense ravine. The victories of the Macedonians had, 
however, been achieved as much by toilsome labors as 


by discipline and valor; they therefore instantly be- 
gan to fill up the intervening space. 

In four days, under the immediate inspection of 
the king, the wonderful exertions of the army had 
advanced the mound, and the works erected on it, 
within bow-shot of the rock. Soon after, another 
detached summit, on a level with the great plain, was 
seized and occupied by a small party of Macedonians. 
The Indians, finding themselves thus exposed to the 
enemy's missiles, sent a herald announcing their in- 
tention to surrender on terms, provided the assault 
was postponed. To this Alexander consented, but 
soon received information that the object of the In- 
dians was to gain time, and to withdraw, under cover 
of the night, to their several homes. The king there- 
fore withdrew all his outposts, and left the paths 
open. But as soon as he perceived that the enemy's 
outworks had been deserted — he scaled the rock, and 
the Macedonians, who first gained the summit, drew 
up their comrades by ropes, and thus achieved this 
memorable conquest. The command of the fortress 
and province was entrusted to Sisicottus, an Indian 
whom he had found in the retinue of Bessus, and of 
whose fidelity he had received ample proofs. . . . 
The rock is not known to me from modern authori- 
ties, nor do I know of any traveller who has examined 
this remote corner. It is on the right bank of the 
Indus, close to the river ; but I have no means of as- 
certaining its exact site. A traveller going up the 
right bank from Attcock, could not fail to find it.* 

* The most plausible modern attempt at the identification 


.... Here Alexander was informed that the king 
of the Assaceni, on retiring to the mountains, had 
turned out his elephants, thirty in number, to enjoy 
a temporary liberty in the rich pastures on the banks 
of the Indus. Alexander had already assembled a 
large troop of elephant-hunters around him, and with 
their assistance recovered all the animals but two, 
which were represented to have fallen over precipices, 
in their attempt to escape. 

As the banks of the Indus were covered with forest 
trees, he cut down timber, built vessels, and em- 
barked on the river. It was as the fleet was falling 
down the stream that he visited Nysa, the inhabitants 
of which claimed his protection, as being descendants 
of part of the victorious host of Dionysus, who had 
founded their city, and peopled it with the invalids 
of his camp. In proof of their assertion they showed 
ivy, the Bacchic emblem, which, according to them, 
grew in no other part of India but their territories, 
and a mountain above their citv, called Merus, or 
the Thigh, in remembrance of the miraculous 
birth of Dionysus. Their chief, Acuphis, gave Alex- 
ander a description of their constitution, according 
to which the supreme power was lodged in a council 
of three hundred, consisting of the citizens most re- 
spected for age, rank, and abilities. Alexander was 
willing to believe their Bacchic origin, and that at 
last he had found traces of the two demigods who in 
remoter ages had preceded him in his present career. 

of this mountain makes it Mahaban, thirty miles above the 
mouth of the Kabul. 

&tat. 29.] HERCULES— DIONYSUS. 269 

He therefore treated the Nysans with particular at- 
tention, and granted all their requests, on condition 
of being furnished with 300 horsemen as a military 
contribution, and a hundred of their best men as 
hostages. At the last demand Acuphis smiled, and 
when asked to explain his mirth, replied, that Alex- 
ander was welcome to that number of the bad and 
vicious characters in Nysa, but wished to know how 
any city could be governed if deprived of a hundred 
of its best men. Alexander, pleased with the answer, 
took the cavalry, but remitted the hostages. 

It is difficult to account for these and other traces 
of Hercules and Dionysus which are gravely recorded 
in the writings of Alexander's most trustworthy his- 
torians. The arms of Darius, the son of Hystaspes, 
had no doubt been carried to the Indus, and the rock 
Aornos might have been repeatedly besieged in vain 
by the Persians. Greeks also from Ionia, Doris, and 
iEolis might have been settled, according to a well- 
known Persian policy, on this distant frontier, and 
have carried with them the mysteries of Bacchus. 
Yet with all this it is difficult to believe that the 
Macedonians, who had traversed the most enlightened 
and civilized states of Asia without discovering one 
trace of Hercules and Dionysus, should thus find ves- 
tiges of the supposed expeditions of both heroes in 
the obscure corner between the river of Cabul and the 

Might not some Macedonians have visited Eysa 
during the celebration of the festival of the Hindoo 
god Rama, and easily recognized his identity with 


their own Dionysus ? The following passage from 
Bishop Heber's Journal in India is the best illustra- 
tion of the subject : — " The two brothers, Rama and 
Luchmun, in a splendid palxee, were conducting the 
retreat of their armv. The divine Hunniman, as 
naked and almost as hairy as the animal whom he 
represented, was gamboling before them, with a long 
tail tied round his waist, a mask to represent the head 
of a baboon, and two great pointed clubs in his hands. 
His armv followed, a number of men with similar 
tails and masks, their bodies dyed with indigo, and 
also armed with clubs. I was never so forciblv struck 
with the identity of Rama and Bacchus. Here were 
before me Bacchus, his brother AmjDelus, the Satyrs, 
smeared with wine-lees, and the great Pan command- 
ing them." 

The Macedonian chiefs would gladly avail them- 
selves of an opportunity to impress their sovereign 
with a belief that he had reached the boundaries of 
the conquests of Hercules and Dionysus, and that to 
surpass them by a few marches more to the east would 
be sufficient to satisfy the wildest dream of ambition. 
Acuphis and his companions could easily be induced 
to enter into a plan calculated to promote their own 
honor and advantage, and few in the army would 
venture to be very critical in their strictures respect- 
ing the claims of these self-styled Bacchi. 

Even the interview with the kin?, as conducted bv 
the deputies of Nysa, was far too theatrical not to 
have been studied. When ushered into the roval 
tent, they found him covered with dust, and in com- 


plete armor — helmet on head and spear in hand, 
being his usual costume during a march. The depu- 
ties on seeing him were apparently overpowered with 
their feelings of awe and admiration, fell prostrate, 
and remained in that position without uttering a 
word, until they were raised by Alexander's own 
hand. It was then that they told their Bacchic tale, 
as before described. 

Alexander, with the Companion cavalry and the 
flower of the phalanx, ascended Mount Merus and 
found it covered with ivy ; laurels and dense groves of 
other trees : the Macedonians, delighted once more to 
see the green ivy plant, quickly formed it into chap- 
lets for their brows, sung hymns to Bacchus, and in- 
voked him by his numerous names. Alexander also 
offered a magnificent sacrifice to the god, and feasted 
the whole army. According to some authors, many 
of the leading generals were seized at the termination 
of the banquet with the bacchanalian frenzy, sallied 
forth in the height of their enthusiasm, and caused 
Mount Merus to re-echo the cries of Evoe, Iacche, and 
Lygee. From Nysa, the whole army arrived at the 
bridge, already constructed by Perdiccas and He- 
phsestion. The whole summer and winter, as re- 
corded from Aristobulus by Strabo, had been spent in 
the march from Bactria, and their late campaign 
among the mountains. With the commencement of 
spring they descended into the plains. 



The region immediately to the east of the upper 
course of the Indus, was, at the period of Alexander's 
invasion, possessed by three leading chiefs; — Abis- 
sares, whose territories were on the left among the 
mountains ; Taxiles, who ruled over the country im- 
mediately in front, between the Indus and the 
Hydaspes ; and Poms, whose dominions were to the 
east of the Hydaspes, but who seems, from his mili- 
tary power, to have been an object of suspicion and 
alarm to his neighbors on every side. Taxiles, thus 
named either from his capital or from his office, im- 
mediately submitted, and with munificent presents 
hastened to meet the conqueror on the banks of the 
Indus. The bridge gave a safe passage to the Mace- 
donian army, which for the second time thus found 
itself beyond the extreme limits of the Persian 
empire. Arrian regrets that none of the historians of 
Alexander had described the construction of the 
bridge, although he concludes that it must have been 
supported on boats. 

Prom the Indus the army marched to Taxila, the 
largest and wealthiest city between the Indus and the 
Hydaspes. Here time was allowed to the soldiers to 


JEb&t. 30.J TAXILES— PORUS. 273 

recruit their strength and their health, after the late 
severe duty among the hills; and the king was so 
pleased with the liberality and generous kindness of 
Taxiles, that — far from depriving him of anything 
— he presented him with a thousand talents ; — which 
drew from some discontented Macedonian the remark 
" that Alexander had apparently found no object 
worthy of his munificence before he entered India. '* 
Abissares, the seat of whose government was probably 
the modern Cashmere, sent his brother with other 
ambassadors to make his submission, and to carry 
rich gifts to the king. Deputies also came from 
Doxares, the governor of a district, on the same 
errand. The stay of the army at Taxila was further 
marked by sacrifices, festivities, horse races, gymnas- 
tic contests, and other amusements calculated to re- 
vive the drooping spirits of the soldiers, who suffered 
excessively from the heavy rains, which had not 
ceased to fall since their entrance into India. 

Although Alexander treated Taxiles with such 
distinguished honor and attention, he nevertheless 
stationed a Macedonian garrison in his capital, and 
left there all the invalids of the army, while he con- 
ducted the rest to the Hydaspes, on the eastern bank 
of which Porus had assembled his troops and pre- 
pared to dispute the passage. 

According even to the modern laws of war, Alex- 
ander, after the conquest of Darius and the Persians, 
was justified in requiring the obedience of all the 
tribes which had formed component parts of their 
empire. But — barbarous as oar military code still 


continues to be — we should in vain search its pages 
for a justification of a system of aggression similar 
to that which Alexander was now directing against 
the Indians. His conduct, however, must be exam- 
ined, not on our principles, but on those of his 
countrymen. The Greeks held that they were natur- 
ally in a state of war with all barbarians, and that 
nothing but a specific treaty could suspend this nat- 
ural hostility. Those nations, therefore, between 
whom and the Greeks such treaties did exist, were 
termed Enspondi, and entitled to international rights. 
All others were Ecspondi, and liable to be assailed, 
despoiled, and enslaved without ceremony. Even 
Aristotle writes that the Greek, from his superior 
virtue and ability, had a natural right to seize and 
claim the services of the barbarian; — while, on the 
contrary, the barbarian who abused the chances of 
war, and made a Greek his slave, was guilty of most 
unnatural conduct. It is not, therefore, surprising 
that the pupil of the Stagyrite felt himself justified 
in exacting an acknowledgment of his supremacy 
from all barbarians ; — and in warning those who dis- 
puted his right, to take the field and abide the decis- 
ion of the sword. 

Modern Europeans, with the exception of the Span- 
iards in Peru and Mexico, have managed such mat- 
ters with more delicacy and semblance of justice — 
but the final result has been the same. 

We are informed by Strabo, that the Macedonians 
marched in a southern direction from the bridge 
across the Indus to the Ilydaspes. As there can be 

-ffitat. 30.] THE HYDASPES— ELEPHANTS. £75 

no doubt that the bridge was built in the vicinity of 
Attock, we may be almost certain that the advance of 
the army was along the main road leading from At- 
tock to Jellick-pore, on the Hydaspes, now called the 
Ihylun. The opposite bank of this noble river was 
lined with the infantry and cavalry, the war-chariots, 
and the elephants of Porus. Every spot, both above 
and below the main road, that presented facilities for 
crossing was diligently guarded. The invader 
divided his troops into numerous bodies, and sent 
them up and down the stream, in order to confuse 
and distract the attention of the Indians; but they 
were not to be thrown off their guard. In the mean- 
time Alexander formed large magazines, as if he in- 
tended to remain encamped till the waters should 
decrease with the approaching winter : — for the rivers 
of northern India, like the Euphrates and Tigris, 
swell with the approach of the summer solstice, and 
shrink within their channels in the winter. The 
month of July still found Alexander on the right 
bank, when he had to view the Hydaspes rolling down 
a turbid and impetuous mass of waters, fourteen feet 
deep, and a full mile broad. This obstacle alone 
might easily have been overcome ; for the ships built 
upon the Indus had been taken to pieces and carried 
by land to the Hydaspes, and rafts and floats, sup- 
ported on inflated hides, constructed in abundance. 
But what rendered the passage dangerous, was the 
line of elephants on the left bank. Alexander de- 
spaired of being able to form his cavalry after 
disembarking. He even doubted whether the horses 


would not precipitate themselves from the floats into 
the water, rather than face those large animals, the 
sight, smell, and voice of which were equally objects 
of alarm and abhorrence to the war-horse. The King, 
therefore, was compelled to steal a passage ; and he 
effected this in the following manner : — 

He declared in public that it was his intention to 
wait for the falling of the waters — although his 
activity ceased not for a moment. For several nights 
in succession he ordered lar^e detachments of cavalry 
to parade the banks of the river, to sound their trum- 
pets, to shout, sing pa?ans, and by outcries and dis- 
sonant clamors rouse the attention of the enemy. 
Poms for a time led his troops and elephants in a 
parallel line with these disturbers of his repose; but 
seeing that the alarms were not succeeded by any 
serious attempts to cross, he gradually ceased to re- 
gard them, or to harass his troops by useless night 
marches. When the vigilance of Porus had been thus 
lulled to sleep, Alexander prepared to put his plans 
in execution. Ten miles above the camp he discov- 
ered a wooded promontory, round which the river 
made a considerable bend. About midway an island, 
covered also with wood, and uninhabited, divided the 
river into two main channels. He fixed upon this 
spot as well adapted for his purposes, because the 
woods and the island screened his operations from 
the view of the enemy. For the dangerous enterprise 
he selected five thousand cavalry and six thousand 
infantry. Among the former were Scythians, Bac- 
trians, and a thousand mounted archers from the 


Dahse tribe ; but the main strength was the formidable 
Companion cavalry. The infantry were the guards, 
two brigades of the phalanx, the Agrians, and the 
bowmen. The leading officers were Ccenus, Perdic- 
cas, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Seleucus, now men- 
tioned for the first time, although destined to be the 
greatest of Alexander's successors. 

Craterus, whom, next to Alexander, the Macedo- 
nians loved and admired, was left in command of the 
camp. His orders were, to remain quiet if Porus 
withdrew only a portion of his troops and elephants 
to meet the King, but if he marched away with the 
whole or greatest part, to cross immediately. 

The night was dark, the rain fell in torrents, and 
an Indian thunder-storm raged during the greatest 
part of the night. The enemy, therefore, could 
neither see nor hear the preparations on the right 
bank. The clashing of armor and the cries of the 
soldiers, as they embarked themselves and placed the 
horses on the floats, were alike drowned in the loud 
and incessant peals of thunder. According to Plu- 
tarch, many men were destroyed by the lightning; 
but it is worthy of observation that we do not read, 
in ancient histories, of the death of any great soldier 
from this cause. Cased as their warriors were in 
polished steel, and with the point of the long lance 
raised aloft, they must, according to the theories of 
the present day, have been in imminent and peculiar 
danger when exposed in a thunder-storm ; yet they 
were apparently as safe as a modern lady in her robes 
of silk. Let better philosophers than I am explain 


the reason. With the dawn the storm ceased, and the 
embarkation was completed. The transports then 
pushed out into the river, and became visible to the 
enemy's sentinels as soon as they had passed the 
island before mentioned. These instantly gave the 
alarm, which rapidly passed from post to post, and 
was almost immediately communicated to Porus. 
But the Indian king knew not how to act. The forces 
of Craterus were in front, and consisted apparently 
of the greatest part of the enemy's army; probably, 
therefore, he judged it to be a false attack, and that 
the real object was to induce him to quit his position. 
He therefore dispatched his son, with 2000 cavalry 
and 130 war chariots, to reconnoitre and act accord- 
ing to circumstances. But these had to ride ten miles 
before they could arrive on the ground. 

During the interval, Alexander and his vessels had 
reached what was imagined to be the opposite bank ; 
here all were disembarked, the king as usual being 
the first to land. The cavalry formed regularly on 
the bank, and were followed by the infantry. But 
they had not advanced far before they discovered that 
they were on a second and larger island, separated 
from the left bank by a less considerable stream, but 
which, in consequence of the heavy rains, was swollen 
to the dimensions of a formidable river. The horse- 
men for a long time failed in discovering any ford, 
and fears were entertained that the troops would have 
to re-embark arid disembark a second time. At last a 
place was found, where the infantry waded through 
with the water above their breasts. 

Mat. 30.] THE TROOPS OF PORUS. 279 

They had, however, crossed this branch also, and 
were formed for the second time, before the young 
prince and his cavalry arrived. At first, Alexander 
mistook them for the vanguard of the Indian army, 
and accordingly treated them with due respect ; but 
as soon as he had discovered their actual numbers, 
and unsupported state, he charged them, at the head 
of the Companion cavalry, with his usual impetu- 
osity. They also, as soon as they discovered that the 
King himself with a powerful force, had crossed, 
thought of nothing but of making their retreat good. 
They were eagerly pursued; 400 horsemen, and the 
young prince, were slain; and the chariots, unable 
to act in the miry and swampy soil, were all captured. 

Poms, on hearing from the fugitives that the 
King, with the most effective part of his troops, had 
crossed, and that his son had fallen, left a few ele- 
phants and a small force to observe the motions of 
Craterus, and marched with all the strength of his 
army to give Alexander battle. He had with him 
4000 cavalry, 300 war-chariots, 200 elephants, and 
30,000 infantry. These were all good soldiers, war- 
riors by profession, well disciplined, and furnished 
with excellent arms, both offensive and defensive. 

When he had arrived on an open plain, the soil of 
which was a firm sand, well adapted for the move- 
ments of his cavalry and chariots, he drew up his 
army in battle array, and waited the approach of the 
Macedonians. In front he placed the elephants, 
about a hundred feet distant from each other. Be- 
hind them were drawn up the infantry, not in an 


unbroken line, but with intervals behind each ele- 
phant. The cavalry were distributed between the 
two wings, and the war-chariots placed immediately 
in front of them. Arrian praises the arrangement; 
it was the very same which the Carthaginians, in 
later days, practised. Alexander, at the head of his 
pursuing cavalry, first came in sight of this formida- 
ble array. He immediately halted his men, and 
waited for the arrival of the infantry. His object 
had been to surprise the enemy's camp, but the rapid 
and skilful movement of Poms had anticipated this; 
he was therefore obliged to content himself with mak- 
ing various demonstrations with his cavalry, until the 
phalanx had been formed and the men had recovered 
their breath. 

Even when these objects had been attained, he 
could not immediately see how he was to act. He 
knew from past experience that the horses would not 
charge the elephants; and it appeared hazardous in 
the extreme to form the phalanx into detached col- 
umns, and lead them through the intervals between 
the elephants, against the enemy's infantry; for if 
these maintained their ground for ever so short a 
period, the elephants, by a transverse motion, might 
break the continuity of the columns and throw them 
into irreparable confusion. 

But the 11,000 commanded by Alexander were 
soldiers, to a man, long accustomed to victory, and 
full of confidence in themselves, in each other, and in 
their leader.* They knew that, as long as they kept 

* General Grant has noted the fact that frequent victory 

Mtat. 30.] THE BATTLE. 281 

together in their chivalry, it was of little consequence 
whether the enemy was on their flank, in their rear, 
or in front. They had not heard of the strange doc- 
trines, propagated by the military pedants of modern 
days, that men might be fairly beaten on the field of 
battle, and yet, from ignorance of this vital fact, most 
unfairly persevere in fighting, and thus wrest the 
victory from their conquerors. Such an army, in 
Alexander's hands, was a weapon which he could 
wield at will, and which as truly obeyed the orders 
communicated in words as the spear did the impulse 
of the hand. 

The infantry were ordered to remain where they 
were, and not to move before they saw the success of 
the cavalry. The latter were formed into two divis- 
ions, of unequal force. The larger, commanded by 
Alexander himself, advanced in an oblique direction, 
in order to turn the left wing of the enemy and attack 
him in the flank. Ccenus, with the smaller division, 
was detached to perform the same manoeuvre on the 
right of the Indian arnry. 

Porus disregarded the movement of Ccenus, but 
being alarmed by the appearance of the powerful 
body of cavalry with which Alexander was threaten- 
in? to attack his left wing, instantly ordered his own 
cavalry of the right to move up by the rear to the sup- 
port of his left ; at the same time he attempted to 
change his front so as to place the advancing Mace- 
donians between him and the river. 

renders an army almost invincible. The value of each indi- 
vidual soldier is increased after each victory. 


Alexander, first sending out the mounted archers — 
to attack the front of the left wing, and cover his 
movements — by the discharge of missiles, turned it 
himself, and prepared to attack it in the flank before 
it could change its front. Ccenus in the meantime 
had not only turned the enemy's right wing, but had 
resolutely pursued the cavalry originally posted there, 
until it had joined the left. The Indian cavalry were 
thus compelled to oppose a double front, one to Alex- 
ander, the other to Ccenus ; and while they were in the 
act of doing so, the King charged. The Indians, 
instead of receiving this manfully, took refuge among 
the elephants, which by the change of front were now 
brought to face the Macedonian cavalry; but the 
phalanx under Seleucus, who had been attentively 
waiting for an opportunity, advanced and saved the 
cavalry from the charge of the elephants. Then oc- 
curred a contest to which the Macedonians had hith- 
erto witnessed nothing similar. The elephants boldly 
advanced against the masses of infantry, and where 
they made an impression caused great confusion. The 
archers and the Agrians on the other hand, directed 
their missiles not so much against the animals as 
against their guides ; for an elephant deprived of his 
guide was as dangerous to one party as to the other. 
While this novel contest was going on, the Indian 
cavalry recovered their courage and order, and sallied 
forth to support the elephants, but they were again 
met and driven back by Alexander and his horse, 
who both in personal strength and skill surpassed tbe 
Indians. Ccenus had already broken through, and 

JStat. 30.J CAPTURE OF PORUS. 283 

the whole Macedonian cavalry were thus "united. At 
the head of these Alexander made repeated and des- 
perate charges upon the Indian infantry, and where 
he charged entirely broke their ranks. The scattered 
troops universally took refuge among the elephants, 
which by the activity of the Macedonian infantry 
were gradually driven upon each other ; many, there- 
fore, irritated by their wounds, and deprived of their 
guides, became furious, and attacked friends and foes 
indiscriminately; but their assailants gave them no 
respite ; — giving way whenever a furious animal 
rushed from the crowd, they pressed forwards upon 
the others. At last the elephants wearied out ceased 
to charge, and began to retire, trumpeting loudly with 
their uplifted trunks, a sure sign that they had be- 
come unmanageable. Arrian compares their retreat 
to the motion of the ancient war-galley, rearing in 
presence on an enemy with the stern foremost and the 
beak to the foe. 

Alexander then stationed his cavalry at intervals 
round the confused mass; and the phalanx in closest 
order, with shield linked to shield, and pikes pro- 
jecting, advanced and bore down all opposition. At 
this moment Craterus brought up his troops, and 
pursued the enemy, who were flying in all directions 
through the intervals between the Macedonian cav- 
alry. According to Arrian, twenty thousand of the 
Indian infantry, and three thousand of their cavalry, 
fell in this bloody battle ; the chariots and surviving 
elephants were all captured. 

Porus himself, inferior to his antagonist in mili- 


tary skill and talents, but not in valor, fought as long 
as he could keep any of his troops together. His 
height exceeded the common stature of man, and he 
rode an elephant of proportionate size. He was 
completely cased in armor with the exception of his 
right arm, which was bared for the combat. His 
cuirass was of great strength and beautiful workman- 
ship, and when afterwards examined excited the ad- 
miration of the Macedonians ; it was probably scale 

Alexander had long witnessed the gallant bearing 
of the Indian king, and the perseverance with which 
he maintained the combat, for the battle lasted till 
two o'clock in the afternoon. Anxious to save the life 
of so brave an opponent, especially as he could see 
that a wound in the shoulder had in some decree dis- 
abled his right arm, the King desired Taxiles to ride 
up and persuade him to surrender. Taxiles, how- 
ever, was an ancient foe of Porus ; and this gallant 
prince no sooner discovered him approaching, than he 
turned his elephant against him, and would have 
slain him, had not the speed of his horse quickly 
borne him beyond the reach of his weapons. Alex- 
ander, probably more amused than displeased with 
this result, sent other messengers in succession, and 
finally Meroes, an Indian, who, as he found, was an 
old friend of the king. Porus listened to him, and 
being overpowered by thirst caused by loss of blood, 
the pain of the wound, and the noon-tide heat, de- 
scended from his elephant; he then drank and cooled 
himself, and was conducted bv Merees to Alexander 

Mtat. 30.] CAPTURE OF PORUS. 285 

who, attended by a few friends, rode forward to meet 
the first potentate whom he had captured on the field 
of battle. He admired not only the size and hand- 
some person of the prisoner, but the total absence of 
servility that characterized his bearing. He ap- 
proached with all the confidence with which one 
brave man should always approach another, and with 
a consciousness that he had not impaired his claims 
to respect, by gallantly defending his native kingdom 
against invaders. 

Alexander was the first to speak, and asked if he 
had any request to make ? " Only to be treated like 
a king, O Alexander," was the short and expressive 
answer. " That shall be done (said the victor) on 
my own account ; but ask any particular favor — and 
it shall be granted for your own sake." " I have 
nothing further to ask," said Porus, " for everything 
is comprehended in my first request." 

This was an enemy according to Alexander's own 
heart ; he treated him with marked honor, gave him 
his freedom on the spot, restored his kingdom, and 
afterwards added largely to its extent. He was not 
disappointed in the estimate he had made of the In- 
dian's character, and found him ever after an at- 
tached friend and a faithful subject. 

The Macedonians who fell in the battle were 
buried with public honors. Then thanksgiving sac- 
rifices were offered to the gods, and the usual games 
and festivities closed the ceremony.* 

* " The battle was over. In fineness of plan and brilliancy 
of execution it was Alexander's masterpiece. The army of 


Craterus was ordered to superintend the building 
of two new cities, one on each bank of the Hydaspes. 
The object was to secure the passage in future. The 
one on the left bank was named Xicsea, the other 
Bucephala, in honor of the favorite Bucephalus 
which died in the battle without a wound, being worn 
out by age, heat, and over-exertion. He was then 
thirty years old, and had been presented to Alexander 
in early life by Demaratus the Corinthian. He was 
a large, powerful, and spirited horse, and would al- 
low no one but Alexander to mount him. From a 
mark of a bull's head imprinted on him he had his 
name Bucephalus, though some say that he was so 
called because being a black horse he had on his fore- 
head a white mark resembling a bull's head. Once 
this famous charger, whose duties were restricted to 
the field of battle, was intercepted and fell into the 
hands of the Uxians. Alexander caused a proclama- 
tion to be made, that, if Bucephalus were not re- 
stored, he would wage a war of extirpation against 
the whole nation. The restoration of the animal in- 
stantly followed the receipt of the notification. So 
great was Alexander's regard for his horse, and so 
great the terror of his name among the barbarians. 

Porus had been dashed in pieces, almost annihilated. Ac- 
cording to Diodorus, twelve thousand had been slain ; Arrian 
says twenty-three thousand. The chariots were shattered, 
their drivers killed. Eighty elephants were captured, but 
more had been killed. Among the slain were two sons of 
King Porus. Of the stately array that on the morning lined 
the river-bank and defied advance, at evening nothing re- 
mained." — Benjamin Ide Wheeler. 

iEtat. 30.] ASCESINES— HYDRAOTES. 287 

" Thus far (writes Arrian) let Bucephalus be hon- 
ored by me for the sake of his master." 

The whole country between the Hydaspes and the 
Acesines was reduced, and placed under the govern- 
ment of Porus. The population was great and 
wealthy, for Alexander received the submission of 
thirty-five cities, not one of which contained fewer 
than five thousand inhabitants. The Acesines (the 
modern Chun-ab) was then crossed without much 
difficulty, for the natives offered no opposition ; — but 
the channel, as described by Ptolemy, the son of La- 
gus, was nearly a mile broad. The principal chief 
between the Ascesines and the Hydraotes was another 
Porus, surnamed the Coward by the Macedonians. 
Previously he had sent ambassadors and submitted 
himself to Alexander's authority, but, on hearing that 
his enemy the brave Porus was in high honor with 
his victor, he lost confidence and fled with all his war- 
riors beyond the Hydraotes. Alexander sent He- 
phsestion to take possession of his dominions and de- 
liver them to his rival. A second embassy also ar- 
rived from Abissares, bringing large sums of money, 
forty elephants, and promises of unconditional sub- 
mission. But Alexander, who had discovered that 
previous to the battle this prince had been on the 
point of joining Porus, sent back a peremptory order 
for him to appear in person or to expect a hostile 
visit. He then led his army across the Hydraotes, 
(the modern Iravati or Ravee,) and heard that a 
warlike nation called Cathaians had roused two other 
independent tribes to arms ; and were preparing to re- 


ceive him under the walls of a strong city called San- 
gala. This nation, both from its name and for other 
reasons, appears to have been Tatar, and not to have 
been long established in the country. Porus and 
Abissares had lately united arms and invaded their 
settlements, but had been driven back with loss. 

The Macedonians arrived before Sangala * on the 
evening of the third day after crossing the Hydra- 
otes; and found the Cathaian troops encamped on a 
rising ground close to the city. Their camp was sur- 
rounded with a triple line of wagons, which — with 
the absence of elephants — amounts almost to con- 
clusive proof of their Scythian origin. Alexander 
attempted to charge the wagons with his cavalry, but 
the Cathaian missiles easily repulsed him. The in- 
fantry of the Phalanx was then brought up, and 
carried the first line without much difficulty ; but the 
second was not forced without considerable loss, as 
they could not advance in order until they had with- 
drawn all the wagons of the first line. They suc- 
ceeded at last in bursting the triple barrier and driv- 
ing its defenders into the town. This was inclosed 
with a brick wall, and had a shallow lake on one side. 
The inhabitants had no confidence in their fortifica- 
tions, and repeatedly attempted to break out and i 
cape. But the Macedonians had already thrown up 
a double rampart round the whole city except on the 
lake side. The besieged, therefore, determined to 
ford this in the night and march away. Intimation 
of their plan reached Alexander, who commissioned 

* This is conjectured to be the modern Amritsir. 


Ptolemy to prevent its execution. This officer in 
haste gathered all the wagons which had formed the 
triple barrier, and drew them up in a single line 
round the edge of the lake. The Cathaians sallied 
out at midnight, crossed the lake, but failed to force 
the hastily erected barrier, and retired again to the 
city. By this time the engines had battered down 
the walls : — the army entered the breach and carried 
the place by storm. Seventeen thousand of the Ca- 
thaians were slain, and seventy thousand taken pris- 
oners. A hundred Macedonians fell, twelve hun- 
dred were wounded — Lysimachus and several other 
leaders being among the latter. The great dispro- 
portion between the wounded and the slain proves 
that the Cathaian weapons were principally arrows 
and hand-missiles, which seldom proved fatal to men 
well furnished with defensive armor. 

Eumenes, the secretary, (now mentioned for the 
first time,) was sent with three hundred cavalry to 
the two other tribes, who had made common cause 
with the Cathaians. His orders were to promise an 
amnesty for past proceedings and protection for the 
future, provided they would submit ; but they had 
already heard of the capture of Sangala, and moved 
away in a body. Alexander pursued eagerly, but 
could not overtake them, and in all probability they 
did not halt until they had gained the mountains, 
whence the Hydraotes descends. The territories of 
the three tribes was given to Indians who in ancient 
days had been independent, and who in the present 

instance had willingly submitted to the Macedonians. 


It appears more than probable that they had been de- 
jDrived of them by the intrusive Cathaians. 

Here Alexander received information, that India 
beyond the Hyphasis — the modern Bezah, or perhaps 
the united streams of the Bezah and Sutlege — was 
very fertile, inhabited by warlike nations skilled in 
agriculture, and wisely governed. He might also 
have heard of the magnificent Palibothra, the Indian 
Babylon, superior in wealth and power to the Assy- 
rian, the seat of the great monarch whose authority 
extended over all the Indian peninsula, and who 
could lead into the field six hundred thousand in- 
fantry, thirty thousand cavalry, and nine thousand 
elephants. He heard also, that these animals in the 
vale of the Ganges were far larger and bolder than 
those of northern India. These reports excited the 
spirit of Alexander, and he prepared to cross the 
Hyphasis, and follow the great road that would con- 
duct him to Palibothra, situated, according to Ar- 
rian, at the junction of the Erannoboas and the 
Ganges. But the Macedonians were worn out with 
wounds, fatigue, and disease. During this cam- 
paign they had been constantly drenched with the 
rains, from which they suffered more than from all 
their other perils and labors. Besides this they had 
been disappointed in their Indian expedition in every 
way. To use Arrian's words, they discovered " that 
the Indians had no gold, and that they were by no 
means luxurious in their mode of living, that they 
were large of size, exceeding the common stature of 
Asiatics, and by far the most warlike of the then in- 

-ffitat. 30.] MURMURS OF THE ARMY. 291 

habitants of Asia." Frequent meetings therefore 
took place in the camp, and the formation of cir- 
cles round individual speakers proved that the minds 
of the men were deeply agitated. In these meetings 
the more quiet characters only lamented their lot, 
while others vehemently encouraged their comrades 
to stand firm to each other, and to refuse to cross the 
Hyphasis even if Alexander led the way. 

The King soon discovered the symptoms of ap- 
proaching mutiny, and that the disinclination to 
march further south had extended from the privates 
to the officers. Before, therefore, this feeling should 
assume any more offensive form, he called a council 
of war, to which all the officers of superior rank were 
summoned. And as the speeches reported by Arrian 
bear strong internal marks of being copied from the 
original historians, I here introduce them. 

" Macedonians and Allies, (said Alexander,) see- 
ing that you do not follow me into dangers with your 
usual alacrity, I have summoned you to this assem- 
bly, that either I may persuade you to go further, or 
you persuade me to turn back. If you have reason 
to complain of our previous labors, or of me your 
leader, I have no more to say ; but if by these labors 
we have acquired Ionia, the Hellespont, with Phry- 
gia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Lydia, Caria, Lycia, 
Pamphylia, Phoenicia, Egypt, Cyrenaica, part of 
Arabia, Coelo-Syria, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Susiana, 
Persia, Media, and all the provinces governed by the 
Medes and Persians, and others never subject to 
them; — If we have subdued the regions beyond the 


Caspian Gates and Mount Caucasus, Hyrcania, Bac- 
tria, and the countries between Caucasus, the river 
Tanias, and the Hyrcanian sea ; — If we have driven 
the Scythians back into their deserts, and the Indus, 
the Hyclaspes, the Acesines flow within our empire, 
why do you hesitate to pass the ITyphasis also, and 
add the nations beyond it to the Macedonian con- 
quests ? Or do you fear the successful resistance 
of any of these barbarians, of whom, some willingly 
submit, others are overtaken in their flight, others 
escape, and leave their territories to be distributed 
by us among our allies ? 

" For my own part, I recognize no limits to the 
labors of a high-spirited man, but the failure of 
adequate objects ; yet if any one among you wishes to 
know the limits of our present warfare, let him learn 
that we are not far from the river Ganges and the 
Eastern Ocean. This, I venture to assert, is con- 
nected with the Hyrcanian Sea, for the great ocean 
flows round the whole earth ; and I shall prove to the 
Macedonians and their allies, that the Indian Gulf 
flows into the Persian, and the Hyrcanian into the 
Indian. From the Persian Gulf our fleet shall carry 
our arms round Africa, until it reach the pillars of 
Hercules, and Africa within the pillars be entirely 
subject to us. Thus the boundaries of our empire 
will be the same as those with which the deitv has 
encircled the earth. But if we now turn back, many 
warlike nations between the Hyphasis and the East- 
ern Ocean, many in a northern direction between 
these and the Hyrcanian Sea, and the Scythian tribes 


in the latter vicinity, will remain unsubdued. And 
there is cause to fear lest the conquered nations, as yet 
wavering in their fidelity, be excited to revolt by their 
independent neighbors, and the fruits of our numer- 
ous labors be thus entirely lost, or secured only by a 
repetition of the same labors and dangers. 

" But persevere, O Macedonians and allies — 
glorious deeds are the fruits of labor and danger. 
Life distinguished by deeds of valor is delightful, 
and so is death when we leave behind us an immortal 

" Know we not that our ancestor did not, by re- 
maining at Tirinthus, Argos, or even in the Pelopon- 
nesus and Thebes, attain that glorious fame which 
elevated him to the real or imaginary rank of a god ? 
£Tor were the labors of Dionysus, a more venera- 
ble deity than Hercules, trifling. But we have 
advanced beyond Nysa ; and the flock Aornos 
impregnable to Hercules, is in our possession. Add 
therefore the remainder of Asia to our present acqui- 
sitions, the smaller portion to the greater ; for we 
ourselves could never have achieved any great and 
memorable deeds had we lingered in Macedonia, and 
been content without exertion to preserve our homes 
and repulse the neighboring Thracians, Illyrians, 
Triballi, or those Greeks who might prove hostile 
to us. 

" If I, your leader, exposed you to labors and 
dangers from which I shrunk myself, there would be 
cause for your faint-heartedness, seeing that you 
endured the toils, and others enjoyed the rewards; 


but our labors are in common; I, equally with you, 
share in the dangers, and the rewards become the 
public property. For the conquered country belongs 
to you; you are its satraps; and among you the 
greater part of its treasures has already been dis- 
tributed. And when all Asia is subdued, I promise, 
and I call Jupiter to witness, not only to satisfy, but 
exceed the wishes of every individual ; — either in 
person to lead, or safely to send into Macedonia, all 
who wish to return home ; — and to render those who 
may remain in Asia objects of envy to their returning 

This speech, was succeeded by a deep silence. 
They could not approve, yet no one wished to be the 
first to oppose. Alexander repeatedly called on some 
individual to express his sentiments, even if unfa- 
vorable to his proposal ; yet all still remained silent. 
At length Coenus, the son of Polemocrates, the oldest 
of the generals, took courage and thus spoke — 

" Since you, O King, are unwilling to lead the 
Macedonians further by the mere exercise of your 
authority, but propose to do so only in case you suc- 
ceed in persuading them, and by no means to have 
recourse to compulsion, I rise to speak, not in behalf 
of myself and the great officers now present, — who, 
as we have been honored especially, and have most of 
us already received the reward of our labors, and 
exercise authority over others, are zealous to serve you 
in all things, — but in behalf of the great body of the 
soldiers. . Nor will I advance what is calculated to 
gain their favor alone, but what I judge most advan- 

MUxt. 30.] REPLY OF CCENUS. 295 

tageous to you for the present, and safest for the 

" And my age, the high authority delegated to me 
by yourself, and the unhesitating boldness which I 
have hitherto manifested in all dangerous enterprises, 
give me the privilege of stating what appears to me 
the best. 

" The number and magnitude of the exploits 
achieved under your command by us, who originally 
accompanied you from Macedonia, are in my opinion 
so many arguments for placing a limit to our labors 
and dangers ; for you see how few of the Greeks and 
Macedonians, who originally commenced the expedi- 
tion, are now in the army. When you saw the Thes- 
salians no longer encountering dangers with alacrity, 
you acted wisely and sent them home from Bactra. 
Of the other Greeks, some have been settled in the 
cities founded by you, where all are not willing resi- 
dents ; some still share in our toils and perils. They 
and the Macedonians have lost some of their numbers 
on the field of battle ; others have been disabled by 
wounds ; others left behind in various parts of Asia ; 
but the majority have perished by disease. A few 
out of many now survive. Xor do they possess the 
same bodily strength as before, while their spirits are 
still more depressed. Those whose parents are still 
living, long to revisit them. All long to behold once 
more their wives, their children, and the homes of 
their native land. This natural desire is pardonable 
in men who, by your munificence, will return power- 
ful and wealthy — not, as before, poor and without in- 


fluence. Do not, therefore, wish to lead us contrary 
to our inclinations. For men whose heart is not in 
the service, can never prove equally useful in the hour 
of danger. And, if agreeable, do you also return 
home with us, see your mother once more, arrange the 
affairs of Greece, and place in your father's house 
the trophies of our great and numerous victories. 
When you have performed these duties, form a fresh 
expedition against these same eastern Indians, if 
such be your wish, or to the shores of the Euxine Sea, 
or against Carthage, and the parts of Africa beyond 
Carthage. You may select your object, and other 
Macedonians and other Greeks will follow you — men 
young and vigorous, not like us old and exhausted. 
They, from inexperience, will despise the immediate 
danger, and eagerly anticipate the rich rewards of 
war. Thev will also naturally follow vou with the 
greater alacrity, for having seen the companions of 
your former dangers and toils return to their homes 
in safety, wealthy instead of poor, and from obscurity 
raised to great distinction. Besides, King, mode- 
ration in prosperity is above all things honorable, 
and although you, at the head of your brave army, 
have nothing to dread from mortal foes, yet the visi- 
tations of the divinity are not to be foreseen, and men 
therefore cannot guard against them." 

At the close of the speech, the officers present 
expressed their sympathy with the sentiments of 
Ccenus by a general murmur of approbation, and the 
tears which rolled down the cheeks of manv veterans 


showed how earnestly they longed to turn their faces 

ufttat. 30.] SECLUSION OF ALEXANDER. 297 

homewards. But the disappointment was greater 
than the ardent feelings of Alexander could well bear. 
Equally displeased with the remonstrance of Coenus, 
and with the hesitation of the others, the King broke 
up the council abruptly. Next day he again sum- 
moned it, and angrily declared that it was his inten- 
tion to advance, but not to enforce the attendance of 
any Macedonian — that he would retain only those 
who were willing to follow their sovereign — that the 
rest might return home, and tell their families that 
they had deserted Alexander in the midst of his ene- 
mies. When he had hastily spoken these few words, 
he retired to his tent. There he secluded himself for 
three days, refusing admission to his most intimate 
friends, and evidently expecting some favorable 
change in the minds of the soldiers. But when a 
deep silence continued to pervade the camp, and the 
troops manifested great sorrow at the king's displeas- 
ure, but no inclination to change their resolution, he 
yielded to necessity, and took the course best adapted 
to maintain his own dignity. He sacrificed, and 
found, as might be expected, the omens decidedly 
adverse to the passage of the Hyphasis. He then 
called together the oldest officers and his own most in- 
timate friends, and through them announced to the 
army the unfavorable state of the auspices, and his 
consequent intention to return. The announcement 
was welcomed with shouts of joy ; most of the soldiers 
wept aloud, and, crowding round the king's tent, im- 
plored countless blessings upon his head, who, invin- 


cible to others, had allowed himself to be overcome 
by them. 

On the banks of the Hyphasis he erected twelve 
towers in the shape of altars; monuments of the 
extent of his career, and testimonies of his gratitude 
to the gods. On these gigantic altars he offered sacri- 
fices with all due solemnity, and horse races and gym- 
nastic contests closed the festivities. 

We must all sympathize with the feelings of the 
Macedonian veterans, so simply and yet eloquently 
described by Ccenus, and while we respect the firm- 
ness of their resolution, admire their calm and tran- 
quil manner of expressing it. But would it had been 
otherwise ! The great barriers that protect Hindo- 
stan had been forced, and the road to Palibothra was 
open. According to the Sandracottus, (or great 
Indian sovereign,) with whom Seleucus formed a 
treaty of friendship and alliance, his immediate 
predecessor was an usurper and a tyrant, and conse- 
quently odious to his subjects. Since the defeat of 
Porus on the Hydaspes, Alexander had met no serious 
resistance, except from the Cathaians ; nor does it 
appear, from good authority, that any nations to the 
east of the Hyphasis had combined for the purpose 
of mutual defence. It is certain that there were no 
troops on the left bank of the Hyphasis. According 
to Curtius, the country between the Hyphasis and 
the Ganges was a desert, for the space of eleven 
days' journey. On the Ganges,* the Gandarides 

* Plutarch, with the most culpable negligence, unless in- 
deed a more serious charge may justly be brought against him, 

-ffitat. 30.] INDIA BEYOND THE HYPHASIS. 299 

and the Prasians were the two predominant nations. 
Had the Macedonians persevered, and made them- 
selves masters of the peninsula, we might have de- 
rived most valuable information on points concerning 
which we must now remain ignorant : for hitherto 
the literary remains of the ancient Hindoos have not 
presented any distinct notices that can be referred 
to the era of Alexander. All is enveloped in the 
clouds of mythology and allegory, where nothing 
clear and definite can be discerned. 

Alexander returned from the Hyphasis, recrossed 
the Hydraotes and Acesines, and arrived on the 
banks of the Hydaspes. In building the new cities of 
Nicsea and Bucephala, sufficient allowance had not 
been made for the rise of the river. The waters had 
therefore seriously damaged them. The towns were 
now repaired, and the mistake corrected. Here a 
third embassy from Abissares waited upon Alexan- 
der, and among other presents brought thirty more 
elephants. A severe illness was alleged to be the sole 
cause of the king's absence; and as, upon inquiry, 
the allegation appeared true, the apology was 
accepted, and the future amount of tribute deter- 
mined. During the whole summer, part of the 
troops had been engaged in shipbuilding, on the 
banks of the Hydaspes. The timber was found in 
the mountain forests through which the river de- 
scended into the plain, and consisted, according to 
Strabo, of firs, pines, cedars, and other trees well 

boldly conducts Alexander to the Ganges, and lines its opposite 
banks with innumerable foes. 


adapted for the purpose. The men employed in fel- 
ling the timber disturbed a great multitude of mon- 
keys and baboons. These, nocking to the crown of a 
hill, whence they could view the destruction of their 
ancient sanctuaries, presented to the workmen the 
appearance of disciplined troops, and they were has- 
tily preparing to arm themselves and march against 
their supposed foes, when they were undeceived by 
their native comrades. 

While all were busily engaged in preparing for 
the voyage the veteran Coenus fell ill and died. He 
had taken a distinguished part in all the great battles; 
was an officer in whom Alexander had placed implicit 
confidence ; and he was buried with all the magnifi- 
cence and honors which circumstances would admit. 
An assembly of the general officers and of the depu- 
ties from various nations was then held, in which 
Porus was proclaimed king of seven Indian nations 
that comprised within their limits two thousand 
cities. The three hundred horsemen were sent back 
to the city of Dionysus, and Philip appointed satrap 
of the country immediately to the west of the Indus. 
The army was then separated into three divisions : 
Hephaestion led one, including the elephants, amount- 
ing to two hundred, down the left, and Craterus 
another division down the right bank. The third 
embarked with Alexander on board the fleet, consist- 
ing of eighty triaconters, and of more than two 
thousand river craft of every description, partly built 
and partly collected. The triaconters were thirty- 
oared gallies, constructed on the plan of the ancient 


ships of war. Nearchus was appointed admiral, and 
Onesicritus, a Greek islander, chief pilot or master 
of the whole fleet. The crews consisted of Phoeni- 
cians, Cyprians, Carians and Egyptians, who had 
followed the expedition. 

When all the preparations had been completed, 
sacrifices were offered to Neptune, Amphitrite, the 
Nadiades, and other gods. A public feast with the 
usual games followed. The army then embarked 
with the dawn ; and Alexander, standing on the 
prow of his own ship, poured from a golden cup a 
libation into the stream of the Hydaspes. He then 
invoked the river god of the Acesines, of which the 
Hydaspes was a tributary, and the still more power- 
ful deity of the Indus, into which the united waters 
of both discharged themselves. Great as were the 
honors paid by the Greeks to their streams, they fell 
infinitely short of the veneration in which these are 
to this day held by the Hindoos. The trumpet then 
gave the signal for casting off, and the whole forest 
of vessels moved majestically down the river. The 
strokes of the innumerable oars, the voices of the 
officers who regulated the motions, and the loud cries 
of the rowers as they simultaneously struck the 
waters, produced sounds singularly pleasing and har- 
monious. The banks, in many places loftier than the 
vessels, and the ravines that retired from either side, 
served to swell, re-echo, and prolong the notes. The 
appearance also of the gallant soldiers on the decks, 
and especially of the war-horses — seen through the 
lattice-work of the sides of the strong vessels, pur- 


posely built for their conveyance — struck the gazing 
barbarians with astonishment and admiration. Even 
Hercules and Dionysus were surpassed, for neither 
tradition nor fable had ascribed a naval armament 
to them. The Indians of Nics-ea and Bucephala, 
whence the fleet departed, accompanied its motions 
to a great distance, and the dense population on both 
sides, attracted by the sounds, rushed down to the 
edge of the river, and expressed their admiration in, 
wild chants and dances. " For (writes Arrian) 
the Indians are lovers of the song and the dance — 
ever since Dionysus and his Bacchanalians revelled 
through their land." 

In ei^ht davs the fleet arrived near the confluence 
of the Hydaspes and the Acesines. The channel of 
their united streams is contracted immediately below 
the point of junction. The current is consequently 
sharp and rapid, and strong eddies are formed by 
the struggling waters that swell in waves and en- 
counter each other, so that the roar of the conflict is 
audible from a great distance. Alexander and the 
crews had been forewarned by the natives of these 
narrows, probably the remains of a worn-down catar- 
act. Yet as they approached the confluence, the 
sailors were so alarmed by the loud roar of the waters, 
that they simultaneously suspended the action of 
their oars, and even the regulators became mute, and 
listened in silence to the harsh greetings of the sister 

On nearing the upper edge of the narrows, the 
pilots ordered the rowers to ply their oars with their 

-ffitat. 30.] CONFLUENCE— NARROWS. 303 

utmost activity, and thus rapidly impel the vessels 
over the boiling surge. The rounder and shorter 
vessels passed through in safety; but the galleys, the 
extreme length of which rendered the exposure of 
their broadsides to the current particularly danger- 
ous, were not so fortunate. Several were damaged, 
some had the blades of their oars snapped asunder, 
and two fell aboard of each other, and sunk with the 
greater part of their crews. A small promontory 
on the right side offered shelter and protection, and 
here Alexander moored his partly disabled fleet. 

The Indians on each side had hitherto submitted, 
or if refractory, had been easily subdued ; but Alex- 
ander here received information that the Malli and 
Oxydracae, two powerful and free states, compared by 
Arrian for their military skill and valor to the 
Cathauans, were preparing to give him a hostile 
reception, and dispute the passage through their ter- 
ritories. The Malli occupied the country between 
the lower part of the courses of the Hydraotes and 
the Acesines, and also the district beyond the Hy- 
droates in the same line. The plan agreed upon by 
the two nations was, for the Malli to send their war- 
riors lower down into the country of the Oxydracse, 
and to make it the scene of warfare. The Malli 
looked upon themselves as sufficiently protected from 
any lateral attack by a considerable desert that inter- 
vened between their upper settlements and the banks 
of the Acesines. 

Craterus and Hephsnstion had already arrived at 
the confluence. The elephants were ferried across 


and placed under the care of Craterus, who was to 
continue his route along the right bank of the Aces- 
ines. Nearchus was ordered to conduct the fleet 
to the i unction of the Hvdraotes and Acesines. The 
remaining troops were divided into three parts. 
PIepha?stion with one division commenced his march days before Alexander, and Ptolemy was ordered 
to remain with another for three davs after Alexan- 
der had departed. The intention of this distribu- 
tion was to distract the enemy's attention, and that 
those who fled to the front should be intercepted by 
Hephcestion, those who fled to the rear by Ptolemy. 
The different bodies were told to meet again at the 
confluence of the Hvdraotes and Acesines. 

Alexander selected for his own division the guards, 
the bowmen, the Agrians, the brigade of Companion 
infantry, all the mounted archers, and one half of the 
Companion cavalry. With these he inarched later- 
ally from the left bank of the Acesines, and en- 
camped by the side of a small stream which skirted 
the western edge of the desert, that intervened 
between him and the upper settlements of the Malli 
upon the Hvdraotes. 

Here he allowed the men to take a short repose, 
after which they were ordered to fill all their ves- 
sels with water. He then marched during the 
remainder of the day and all night, and with the 
dawn arrived before a Malli an city, the inhabitants 
of which had no fears of being attacked thus sud- 
denly from the side of the desert. Many, accord- 
ing to the early habits of their country, were already 

JEtat. 30.] THE MALLI— HYDRAOTES. 305 

in the fields. When these had been slain or cap- 
tured, Alexander placed detachments of cavalry 
round the town, until the arrival of the infantry. 
Their march across the desert had exceeded twenty- 
five miles, nevertheless, as soon as they had come 
up, they carried by storm first the city and then 
the citadel, although the Malli fought boldly and 
resolutely. But Alexander's march across the desert 
had taken them by surprise, and entirely deranged 
the plans of their leaders, who had conducted their 
warriors down the river. The cities, therefore, 
even the most important, were evacuated on the 
King's approach, and their inhabitants either fled 
beyond the Tlydraotes or took refuge in the dense 
jungles that lined the banks of that river. 

The capture of the first city was the morning's 
work ; the afternoon was given to repose. At six 
in the evening the march was resumed and con- 
tinued through the night ; and with the break of day 
the army reached the Hydraotes — where they over- 
took some of the fugitive Malli, in the act of crossing 
the river. All who refused to surrender were put to 
the sword : the main body escaped into a city strongly 
walled and situated. Against these Peithon was 
detached, who stormed the place and captured the 

Alexander then crossed to the left bank of the 
Hvdraotes, and arrived at a Brahmin town. It is 
impossible to say whether all the inhabitants were 
Brahmins, or whether the city was merely the prop- 
erty of that dominant caste. They, as was their 


bounden duty, had been active in exciting their coun- 
trymen against the invaders, and were not back- 
wards in gving them a brave example. When the 
walls had been undermined and breaches made, the 
Brahmins retired to the citadel, which was gallantly 
defended. Alexander himself was the first to scale 
the walls, and remained for a time the sole captor of 
the fortress. Five thousand Indians were slain, as 
no quarter could be given either to the warriors, who 
fought while life remained, or to the inhabitants, 
who closed their doors and set fire to their houses with 
their own hands. 

The army then reposed for one day, after which 
Peithon and Demetrius, a cavalry officer, were sent 
to scour the jungles on the left bank of the Hydra- 
otes. Their orders were to put all who resisted to 
the sword. It was in these jungles probably that 
Peithon killed the largest snake which the Macedo- 
nians saw in India. It was twentv-four feet Ions;; 
and although this is but a small size for a boa con- 
strictor, it was a monster to which the Greeks had 
seen nothing similar, as the marshes of Lerna and the 
borders of the Lake Copais had, since the heroic ages, 
ceased to teem with these enormous reptiles. But the 
Indians assured them that serpents of a far 
greater magnitude were to be seen. According 
to Onesicritus, the ambassadors of Abissares men- 
tioned in Alexander's court, that their sovereign 
possessed two, of which the smaller was eighty, the 
larger one hundred and forty cubits long.* It is 

* It is difficult to credit these snake stories. The cubit be- 

-ffitat. 30.] PUESUIT OF THE MALLI. 307 

curious that the Macedonians did not see a royal 
Bengal Tiger, although in modern days his ravages 
are very destructive between Guzerat and the lower 
Indus. They saw his skin, and heard exaggerated 
tales respecting his size, strength, and ferocity. Is 
it a fair inference from his non-appearance in the 
vales of the Indus and its tributaries — that the na- 
tives of those regions were, at the period of the Mace- 
donian invasion, more powerful, populous, and war- 
like, than in our days ? 

Alexander himself marched against the principal 
city of the Malli ; but it, like many others on the left 
bank of the Hydraotes, was found evacuated: — the 
inhabitants having crossed to the right bank, where 
the whole warlike force of the nation was now united. 
Their numbers amounted to 50,000, and their inten- 
tion was to dispute the passage of the Hydraotes and 
prevent him from recrossing that stream. Thither, 
therefore, without delay he directed his course, and 
as soon as he saw the enemy on the opposite bank, 
dashed into the river at the head of his cavalry. The 
Havee or Hydraotes is in July more than five hun- 
dred yards broad, and twelve feet deep. In the dry 
season the breadth remains nearly the same, but tha 
depth does not exceed four feet. The autumn being 
far advanced at the time that Alexander crossed, the 

ing about nineteen inches, the larger of these serpents would 
be 266 feet long. But Livy tells of a serpent 120 feet in length 
that devoured several Roman soldiers in Africa, and it is said 
that the skin of that reptile was long preserved at Rome. 
Captain Speke killed a serpent in Africa 51| feet long. 


waters were probably at their lowest point of depres- 

We may well be astonished at the extraordinary 
boldness, not to say rashness, with which the King, 
unsupported by infantry, prepared to ford a river 
of this magnitude, in the face of more than 50,000 
enemies. But during these operations he was evi- 
dently acting under morbid excitement. He was 
angry with his soldiers, who, while they loved and 
adored him, had vet thwarted his schemes of univer- 
sal conquest, and checked him in the full career of 
victory. He, therefore, expended his wrath and 
soothed his irritation by courting dangers, setting his 
life at nought, and like the heroes of old, achieving 
victory with his own right hand and trusty sword. 
His energy was terrific, and the Indians were para- 
lyzed by the reckless daring that characterized every 

On the present occasion, as soon as they saw that 
he had gained the middle of the stream, they retired, 
but in good order, from the bank. He pursued, but 
when the Malli perceived that he was not supported 
by infantry, they awaited his approach and vigorous- 
ly repelled the charges of the cavalry. Alexander 
then adopted the Parthian tactics, wheeled round their 
flanks, made false attacks, and thus impeded their 
retreat, without bringins: his cavalry in contact with 
their dense mass of infantry. But the light troops, 
the formidable Agrians, and the archers, soon came 
up, and were instantly led on by himself, while at 
the same time the phalanx, bristling with pikes, was 


seen advancing over the plain. The Indians, panic- 
struck, broke their ranks and fled into the strongest 
city in the neighborhood. Alexander, pursued with 
the cavalry, slew many in their flight, and when he 
had driven the survivors into the citv, surrounded it 
with detachments of cavalry, until the arrival of the 
infantry. It was now late in the day, and the sol- 
diers were wearied with the length of the march, the 
horses fatigued with the sharpness of the pursuit, 
and with the toilsome passage of the river. The 
following night was therefore given to repose. 

Xext day the army was formed into two divisions ; 
Perdiccas led one, and Alexander the other. The 
assault was given ; and the king's division soon broke 
open a postern gate and rushed into the city. The 
defenders immediately quitted the walls, and hurried 
into the citadel. The desertion of the walls was 
regarded by Perdiccas as a proof of the capture of 
the city. He, therefore, suspended the attack from his 
side. Alexander had closely followed the retreating 
enemy, and was now preparing to storm the citadel, 
of which the defenders were numerous and resolute. 

Some were ordered to undermine, and others to 
scale the walls. But the motions of those who were 
bringing up the ladders seemed slow to his impatient 
mind. He, therefore, seized a scaling-ladder from 
the foremost bearer, placed it against the wall, and 
ascended under the protection of his shield. He had 
captured one fortress already, and seemed determined 
to owe the possession of another to his own personal 
prowess. Close behind the king ascended Peucestas, 


bearing the sacred buckler, taken from the temple of 
the Ilian Minerva. He was followed bv Leonnatus, 
the son of Eunus, a commander of the body guard. 
Abreas, a soldier of the class to whom, for superior 
merit, double pay and allowances were assigned, was 
ascending by another ladder. 

The Indian wall had no battlements nor embra- 
sures. Alexander, therefore, placing the lowest 
rim of his shield on the coping, partly with it thrust 
back his immediate opponents, and partly swept them 
off with his sword. He then mounted and stood 
alone on the wall. At this moment, the guards 
alarmed beyond measure by the dangerous position 
of the king, crowded the ladders, which broke under 
their weight. 

The Indians easily recognized Alexander, both by 
the splendor of his arms, and by his uncalculating 
boldness. At him, therefore, was aimed every mis- 
sile, both from the neighboring bastions, and from the 
body of the place, whence, as the wall on the inside 
was low, he could be struck almost with the hand; 
but no one came near him. He felt that while he. 
remained thus exposed, the peril was great, and active 
exertion impossible. He scorned to leap back into 
the arms of his beseeching guards ; but were he to 
spring into the citadel, the very boldness of the deed 
might appal the barbarians and ensure his safety. 
Even should the event prove fatal, the feelings of 
Alexander were in unison with those of the Homeric 
Hector. " At least let me not perish ingloriously; 


without exertion, but in the performance of some 
great deed of which posterity shall hear." 

Animated by this principle, he sprung from the 
wall into the fortress, and the gleamings of his 
armor flashed like lightning in the eyes of the bar- 
barians ; for the moment they retired — but were 
immediately rallied by the governor, who himself 
led them to the attack. Alexander had, for greater 
safety, placed his back against the wall. In this 
position he slew his first assailant, the governor, with 
the sword — checked the advance of a second, and of a 
third with large stones, favorite weapons with the 
Homeric heroes — and again with his sword slew the 
fourth, who had closed with him. The barbarians 
daunted by the fate of their comrades, no longer 
drew near, but formed themselves into a semicircle, 
and showered missiles of every description upon him. 

At this critical moment Peucestas, Leonnatus, and 
Abreas, who, when the ladders broke, had clung to 
the walls, and finally made their footing good, leaped 
down and fought in front of the king. Abreas soon 
fell, being pierced in the forehead by an arrow. The 
ancients wore no vizors, and trusted to the shield and 
eye for the protection of the face. But a vizor would 
not have availed Abreas in the present case, for the 
Indian arrow, as described by Arrian, was irre- 
sistible. " The bow (says he) is six feet long, the 
archer places the lower end on the ground, then steps 
forward with his left foot, draws the string far back, 
and discharges an arrow nearly three cubits long. 
Xo armor can resist it, when shot by a skillful Indian 


archer, nor shield, nor breastplate, nor any other de- 
fence." This Alexander himself was doomed to 
experience, for one of these formidable archers, 
taking his station at a proper distance, took deliberate 
aim, and struck him on the breast, above the pap. 
The arrow pierced through his cuirass, formed as it 
was of steel of proof, and remained deeply fixed in 
the bone. Severe as the wound was it did not imme- 
diately disable him for further exertion, or as Homer 
would say, " relax his limbs," and while the blood 
was warm he continued to defend himself. But in a 
short time the loss of blood and the extreme pain 
necessarily -attendant on every motion, brought on a 
dizziness and faintness, and he sunk down behind 
his shield and dropped his head on its uppermost rim. 
The very position indicates great self-possession, for 
helpless as he was he presented no vulnerable part to 
the enemy. Peucestas and Leonnatus performed 
their duty gallantly and affectionately; they neg- 
lected their own persons, and held both their shields 
in front of their bleeding sovereign. While thus 
engaged they were both wounded with arrows, and 
Alexander was on the point of fainting. 

But the Macedonians were scaling the wall in 
various ways : — some drove pegs into it and thus 
climbed up, others mounted on their comrades' 
shoulders, and every one, as he gained the summit, 
threw himself headlong into the citadel. There, 
when they saw Alexander fallen, for he had swooned 
at last for want of blood, they uttered loud lamen- 
tations, and hurried to place themselves between him 


and his assailants. Some broke the bar of a postern 
gate and admitted their companions. But as the 
narrow entrance did not allow many to pass through 
at the same time, the excluded troops, who now 
heard that the king was slain, became furious, smote 
down the wall on each side of the gate, and rushed 
in through the breach. Alexander was placed on his 
shield, the bier of the ancient warrior, and was borne 
out by his friends, who knew not whether he was 
alive or dead. The soldiers then gave the reins to 
their angry passions, and every man, woman, and 
child, within the walls, were put to the sword. 

This perilous adventure of the conqueror of Asia 
was variously described by his numerous historians, 
some of whom were far more anxious to study effect 
than to ascertain the truth. " According to some," 
says Arrian, " Critodemus of Cos, a physician of the 
race of zEsculapius, enlarged the wound and ex- 
tracted the arrow ; according to others Perdiccas, 
by Alexander's own desire, as no surgeon was present, 
cut open the wound with his sword, and thus extri- 
cated the arrow. The operation was accompanied 
with great loss of blood; Alexander again fainted, 
and further effusion was thus stayed. . . . According 
to Ptolemy the breath, together with the blood, 
rushed through the orifice. . . . Many fictions also 
have been recorded by historians concerning this 
accident, and Fame, receiving them from the original 
inventors, preserves them to this day. Nor will she 
cease to hand down such falsehoods to posterity 
except they be crushed by this history. The common 


belief is, that this accident befel Alexander among 
the Oxydraca?; but it occurred among the Malli, an 
independent Indian nation. The city was Mallian, 
the archer who wounded Alexander was a Mallian. 
They had certainly agreed to join the Oxydraca?, and 
give battle to Alexander, but the suddenness and 
rapidity of his march across the desert had prevented 
either of these peoples from giving any aid to the 

Before the king's wound would allow him to be 
moved the various divisions of the grand army had ar- 
rived at the confluence of the Hvdraotes and Acesines. 
The first account that reached the camp, was that 
Alexander had been killed, and loud were the lamen- 
tations of all as the mournful tidings spread from 
man to man ; then succeeded feelings of despondency 
and doubt, and the appointment of a commander-in- 
chief seemed likelv to be attended with difficulties 
and danger. Many Macedonians appeared to pos- 
sess equal claims ; some from high birth and seniority, 
others from greater talents and popularity — and no 
one since Parmenio's death had been regarded by 
all as the second in command. Alexander led 
120,000 men into India, an army composed of the 
boldest and most adventurous spirits of the different 
regions which he had traversed. It was not likelv, 
that when the master spirit, the guiding mind, the 
only centre of union, was lost, this great mass of 
discordant materials would continue to act on com- 
mon principles. Many satraps, who hated the Mace- 
donian supremacy, were personally attached to Alex- 

^Etat. 30.] ALARM OF THE ARMY. 315 

ander; when the only link was broken, their revolt 
would necessarily follow. The conquered nations, 
also, no longer paralyzed by the magic of a name, 
would rise and assert their national independence; 
finally, the numerous and warlike tribes, hitherto 
unsubdued, would beset their homeward path, and 
treat them more as broken fugitives than returning 
conquerors. Depressed by these considerations, the 
Macedonians felt that, deprived of their king, they 
had innumerable dangers and difficulties to en- 

When the report of his death was contradicted they 
could not believe his recovery possible, and still re- 
garded his death as inevitable ; even when letters 
from himself, announcing his speedy arrival at the 
camp were received, the soldiers remained incred- 
ulous — suspecting them to be forgeries of the com- 
manders of the guard, and the other generals. Alex- 
ander, therefore, anxious to obviate any commotions, 
was conveyed as soon as he could be moved with 
safety, to the banks of the Hydraotes; there he was 
placed on board a vessel and sailed down the river. 
When he drew near to the camp he ordered the 
awning which overhung the couch on which he was 
reclining, to be removed ; but the troops, who crowded 
the banks, imagined they saw the dead body of their 
king. When, however, the vessel drew nearer, Alex- 
ander raised his arms and stretched his hand out to 
the multitude ; this signal proof of life and conscious- 
ness was welcomed with loud cheers, and the whole 
body of soldiers lifted up their hands to heaven, or 


stretched them towards the king, while tears involun- 
tarily gushed from many eyes. 

He was carried from the vessel; but borrowing 
new strength from his enthusiastic reception, refused 
the litter which was offered by the guards, and called 
for a horse. He mounted, and rode slowly through 
the crowd. This additional proof of his convales- 
cence was hailed with redoubled cheers and applause ; 
on approaching the royal tent he dismounted and 
walked. Then the soldiers crowded around him; 
some touched his hands, some his knees, some the hem 
of his garments, some, satisfied with a nearer view, 
implored blessings on him and withdrew, and others 
covered him with garlands and the flowers of the 
clime and season. 

The friends who supported his steps were harsh in 
their reproofs of his reckless conduct, and blamed 
him in no measured terms for endangering his life 
without an adequate object, and performing the 
duties of a soldier and not of a commander-in-chief. 
A Boeotian veteran had tact enough to observe, from 
the king's countenance, that these remonstrances 
were far from agreeable, and certainly not the more 
so as they were founded in truth ; he, therefore, ap- 
proached, and in his native dialect said, " O Alex- 
ander, actions characterize the hero ;" and then re- 
peated an Iambic line expressive of this sentiment : — 

" He who strikes must also bleed." 

Alexander was pleased witli the readiness and apt- 
ness of the quotation, and the wit of the veteran, 

JEtat. 30.] RETURN TO THE CAMP. 317 

Boeotian as he was, procured him present applause 
and future patronage. 

The friends on whom Alexander leaned after dis- 
mounting were most probably Hephsestion and 
Craterus, the two chief commanders in the station- 
ary camp. The former, mild and gentle, cannot be 
suspected of treating his indulgent sovereign with 
asperity; but Craterus, who was accused by Alex- 
i ander himself of " loving the king more than Alex- 
ander/' might justly remonstrate with the hero for 
rashly endangering the invaluable life of the prince. 

The Malli and Oxydracse sent embassies to the 
naval station. The deputies were commissioned 
to present the submission of both nations ; the Malli 
soliciting pardon for their resistance, the Oxydracse, 
for their tardy surrender. According to their decla- 
rations, they had enjoyed national independence 
since the conquest of India by Dionysus, but under- 
standing that Alexander, also, was of the race of the 
gods, they were willing to obey his satrap and pay 
a stipulated tribute. The punishment inflicted upon 
the Malli, was, in Alexander's estimation, sufficient 
to ensure their future obedience ; but from the 
Oxydracse he exacted 1,000 hostages, the bravest and 
noblest of the nation. ISTot only were these imme- 
diately sent, but 500 war-chariots, with their equip- 
ments, were added. The king, pleased with this 
magnificent proof of goodwill and sincerity, accepted 
the gift and returned the hostages. 

These Malli and Oxydracse are represented, proba- 
bly in name, certainly in situation, by the modern 



inhabitants of Multan and Uchh; the former is on 
the left of the Acesines, with the cognate city of 
Multan between the Hydraotes and Hyphasis;* 
Uchh is lower down, not far from the confluence of 
the Hyphasis and Acesines. Both nations were 
added to the satrapy of Philip. 

While the wound was healing and Alexander re- 
covering his strength, the army were employed in 
building additional ships. Near the confluence was 
a large banyan tree, below which, according to Aris- 
tobulus, fifty horsemen could at the same time be 
shaded from the sun. It might be worth ascertain- 
ing, as connected with the age of this species of tree, 
whether there be one of great size and apparent anti- 
quity in this vicinity. Onesicritus, as quoted by 
Strabo, has so accurately described the mode in which 
one of these natural phenomena increases to a forest, 
that it is evident he had seen one of the greatest mag- 
nitude, perhaps equal to give refuge under its 
branches to 10,000 men. 

On some part of the river, between JSTicsea and the 
stationary camp, Alexander had visited a prince by 
name Sopeithes, who voluntarily submitted to the 
invader; his dominions were celebrated for a race 
of fierce dogs, equal, according to the accounts of both 
Curtius and Strabo, to the English bulldog. 

* The Hydraotes is the modern Chenab (?), and the Hy- 
phasis the modern Beas, both in British India. 



Alexander, with an increased fleet, fell down the 
Acesines into the Indus ; here he was joined by more 
vessels, which had been built in various places on the 
latter river. He ordered a town to be built, and 
naval docks constructed, at the confluence as in his 
estimation it was a spot well calculated to become 
the site of a powerful city. A strong body of men 
was left there, including the Thracians of the army, 
and all were placed under the superintendence of 
Philip. His father-in-law, Oxyartes, visited him 
here, and was appointed satrap of the Paropamisan 

Thence he sailed down the Indus to the royal 
palace of the Sogdi, deriving their name most prob- 
ably, like their northern namesakes, from the great 
vale occupied by them. The elephants, under Cra- 
terus, had been repeatedly ferried across, as the 
nature of the country favored their movements on 
either side. They were now transferred to the right 
bank for the last time, and advanced through the 
country of the Arachosii and Drangse, of whom Ar- 
rian makes the Indus the eastern limit. 



He himself sailed down the river into the domin- 
ions of Musicanus, said to have possessed the 
wealthiest and most productive regions in that part 
of India. This description suits well with the rich 
and well-watered plains between the lower course of 
the Aral, (the Arabis of Ptolemy,) and the Indus. . . 
Musicanus and Oxycanus (the appellation of a 
neighboring chief) point, probably, the names of the 
territories, governed by these princes ; — as the word 
khan is constantly found, even to this day, on the 
lower Indus ; such are chack-khangur, and gui-khan, 
and other similar compounds. . .Musicanus, (who per- 
haps might be jDroperly described, in the modern 
English fashion, as the rajah of Moosh, and Oxyca- 
nus, as the rajah of Ouche,) had sent no ambassadors 
to make peace, offer presents, or request favors ; nor 
taken any step which a wise governor ought to have 
done, on learning the approach of the extraordinary 
conqueror, whom the current of the Indus was 
certain to bear into the heart of his dominions. 

He took the alarm, however, when Alexander had 
reached the upper confines of his realms, and came 
to meet him with presents, with all his elephants, and 
what was more likely to procure favor, with an 
apology for his previous neglect. He was restored 
to his government, but Alexander, admiring the ad- 
vantageous site of his principal town, built within it 
a citadel, well calculated in his opinion to keep the 
neighboring tribes in awe. We have seen before, 
that even in the case of Taxiles,he made no exception, 
but placed a garrison in his capital. His plan was, 


to treat friendly chiefs with great kindness, but to 
put it out of their power to revolt. 

Oxycanus attempted resistance, but Alexander 
captured his two principal cities, and himself in one 
of them, with his cavalry and light troops alone; 
for, as Arrian strongly expresses it, the minds of all 
the Indians were struck with servile terror by Alex- 
ander and his success. 

He then entered the dominions of Sabbas or Sam- 
bus, who formerly had been appointed satrap of these 
regions by Alexander, but who, like the cowardly 
Porus, no sooner heard that Musicanus, his enemy, 
had been well treated by the king, than he fled into 
the desert. On approaching his capital, Sindo-mana, 
of which the very name proves its situation on the 
Indus, called by the natives, both in ancient and 
modern times, the Sinde, the Macedonians found the 
gates open, and the public officers ready to deliver 
up the treasures, and the elephants — as, according to 
them, Sabbas had fled, not from disaffection to Alex- 
ander, but from fear of Musicanus. The capital of 
Sabbas could not have been very far from the modem 
Schwaun, or Sebaun. It appears that the Brach- 
mans had instigated the partial revolt of Sabbas; 
Alexander, therefore, attacked and captured a city 
belonging to that influential caste, and put to death 
the most guilty. 

While he was thus occupied, the revolt or rather 

rebellion of Musicanus, was announced to him. He 

also, was induced by the Brahmins to take this rash 

step. Alexander instantly returned, took and garri- 



soned most of his towns, and sent Peithon against 
Musicanus himself. Peithon captured him and the 
leading Brahmins, and brought them to Alexander. 
Probablv the insurrection had been characterized bv 
atrocious deeds, for Alexander ordered the whole 
party to be conducted to the capital, and there 

He was now approaching the upper end of the 
delta of the Indus, where the river divides into two 
streams of unequal size, that enter into the sea, more 
than 100 miles distant from each other. The in- 
closed space was named Pattalene by the Greeks, 
from the city of Pattala, situated within the delta, 
below the point, of division, probably at no great 
distance from the modern ITydrabad; they may be 
the same cities, as some Hyder might easily have 
imposed his own name on the ancient Pattala. The 
governor of Pattalene withdrew into the desert with 
most of his people ; but the latter, on being pursued 
and informed that no injuries were to be inflicted 
upon them, returned to their homes. Hephcestion 
was ordered to build a citadel, and construct docks 
and a harbor at Pattala, while Alexander himself 
sailed down the right branch into the ocean. 

" That Alexander (writes Dr. Vincent) had con-' 
ceived a plan of the commerce which was afterwards 
carried on from Alexandria in Egypt to the Indian 
ocean, I think capable of demonstration by his con- 
duct after his arrival at Pattala. In his passage 
down the Indus, he had evidently marked that river 
as the eastern frontier of his empire; he had built 

JEtat. 31.] COMMERCIAL VIEWS. 323 

three cities and fortified two others on this line, and 
he was now preparing for the establishment of Pat- 
tala at the point of division of the river, and planning 
other posts at its eastern and western mouths." 

He had selected the best sailing and largest ves- 
sels for his voyage into the ocean, but his progress 
immediately after leaving Pattala was at first slow, 
from want of pilots; this difficulty was increased by 
the regular monsoon, which blew up the river with 
great violence. Alexander's light craft were seri- 
ously injured by the rough contest between the winds 
and the currents, and some even of the triaconters 
Went to pieces. The damage was repaired, and the 
land force that was accompanying the motions of the 
fleet, was ordered to bring in prisoners, from whom 
persons capable of steering the vessels were selected. 
On reaching the estuary, which was more than twelve 
miles broad, they encountered a brisk gale, which 
compelled them to seek protection in a small creek; 
here they moored for the night. Next day they were 
astonished to find that the waters had retired, and 
that the vessels were aground. This astonishment 
was redoubled, when they witnessed the furious re- 
turn of the waters at the regular hour. The tides 
in the great Indian rivers, called bores, are of the 
most formidable description ; they instantaneously 
raise the level of the rivers, from six to twelve feet, 
and rush up the stream with inconceivable force and 
velocity. For this phenomenon, the sailors of the 
Mediterranean, and especially of the iEgean, where 


the tides are scarcely perceptible, were by no means 

From this place, two light boats were sent to exam- 
ine the passages, and returned with the information, 
that they had discovered an island well furnished 
with harbors, and otherwise adapted for the objects 
in view. The small fleet re-commenced its voyage, 
and reached the island in safety. The natives called 
it Killuta. Alexander landed, and offered a sacri- 
fice to those gods, whom, according to his own declara- 
tion, the oracle of Amnion had indicated. This 
fact is worthy of being recorded, as proving that as 
early as his Egyptian voyage, he had contemplated 
his visit to the shores of the eastern ocean, and his 
wish to open a communication between it, and his 
western dominions. About twelve miles lower down, 
he found a smaller island whence an unimpeded view 
of the ocean was commanded. He landed here also, 
and sacrificed to the same gods. ISText day he en- 
tered the ocean, and spread his sails on waves before 
unvisited, or, if visited, undescribed by Europeans. 
The bull, the favorite victim at the altar of Xeptune, 
was sacrificed, and precipitated into the sea: and not 
only libations were duly poured into the " wineless 
waves " but the golden bowls and patera? were like- 
wise consigned to the bosom of the deep. These 
were thanksgiving offerings for past success. The 
future was not overlooked, for the King bound him- 
self by fresh vows, for the return of his fleet in 
safety, from the estuary of the Indus, to the mouths 
of the Tigris and Euphrates, 

JEtat. 81.] VISIT TO THE OCEAN. 325 

Then he returned to Pattala, where the citadel was 
already completed. Hephsestion was ordered to pro- 
ceed with the formation of the docks and harbors, 
while he himself sailed down the left branch. This 
brought him to a spacious lake, on one side of which, 
finding a place well adapted for a naval station, he 
ordered another harbor to be formed. Native pilots 
guided the fleet through the lake, and eventually into 
the ocean ; — but the king was satisfied that the west- 
ern branch was better calculated for navigation than 
the eastern. He marched for three days along the 
shore of the ocean between the two great mouths, and 
sunk wells at regular intervals, for the purpose of 
furnishing his future navy with fresh water. He 
then returned to the ships and sailed back once more 
to Pattala. 

The King now began to prepare in earnest for the 
homeward march ; Craterus already with the ele- 
phants, the heavy baggage, the feeble, the old, and 
the wounded, and with three brigades of the phalanx, 
had marched to the right from the dominions of Mu- 
sicanus, in order to conduct his division by easy roads 
and through the fertile territories of the Drangae and 
Arachosians, to the capital of Carmania. A con- 
siderable portion of the fleet was ordered to remain 
at Pattala, for the purpose of commanding the navi- 
gation of the Indus, and the communication between 
the different settlements. Xearchus with the largest 
and the most seaworthy ships, was ordered to wait 
for the commencement of the trade wind from the 


north-east, which usually sets in about the beginning 
of November. 

Alexander himself left Pattala in the beginning of 
September, B. C. 325, and began his march to the 
westward. Hephsestion conducted one detachment 
along a more inland route, while the King at the 
head of his most active troops turned to the left, and 
followed the sea shore. His great object was the 
safety of his fleet ; and he had no hopes that in 
strange seas and on rocky shores, where the inhabi- 
tants were described as barbarous in the extreme, and 
water and provisions scarce, Nearchus could ever ac- 
complish his purpose without the co-operation of the 
land forces. His determination therefore was at all 
risks to advance along the sea-coast, and prepare pro- 
visions and sink wells for the use of the fleet. 

Between the lower course of the Indus and the 
Arabis of Arrian the King found, and subdued, a 
tribe of savages, called from the river, Arabita?. To 
the west of these lived an Indian nation named 
Oreitse — who probably occupied the vales of the mod- 
ern Pooralee, and its tributaries. They also, after 
some brief demonstrations of resistance, submitted. 
Alexander ordered a town to be built at a place called 
Bambacia,in their territory; appointed Apollophanes 
satrap of the Oreita? ; and left Leonnatus, latterly 
one of his favorite officers, with a strong force, to 
preside over the establishment of the new city, to 
accustom the Oreita? to obey their satrap, but above 
all to collect provisions, and wait on the coast until 

JEtat. 31.] GEDROSIAN DESERT. 327 

the fleet under Nearchus had arrived, and past the 
shore of that province in safety. 

Here the king was joined by Hephsestion ; and the 
united force, principally composed of picked men, 
ventured into the desert of Gedrosia,* the modern 
Makran. During sixty days spent in traversing this 
waste from the edge of Oreitia to Pura, they had to 
struggle against difficulties greater than were ever 
before or after surmounted by a regular army. The 
ancients knew nothing of this extensive desert, more 
than was communicated by the survivors of this des- 
perate experiment. We in modern times know as 
little of it beyond its extreme edges, where some 
miserable tribes of Balooches contrive to support a 
wretched existence. Edrisi, the Nubian geographer, 
to whom the sandy wastes of Africa were well known, 
gives the following more formidable character of the 
desert of Makran : — " To the east of Persia and Car- 
mania, lies that immense desert, to which no other 
in the world can be compared. There are many 

villages and a few cities on its extreme skirts 

That great desert is bordered by the provinces of 
Kirman, Fars, (Persis,) Moult an, and Segestan. 
But few houses are to be seen in it. Men on horse- 
back cannot cross it without great difficulty. Un- 
loaded camels traverse a few paths, which (with 
God's assistance) I proceed to describe." But all 
the lines indicated by Edrisi are through the northern 

* Gedrosia corresponds very nearly with the modern Balu- 
chistan, lying to the north of the Arabian sea, and east of 
Persia. The desert of Makran is in the southwestern portion. 


parts, and throw no light on the route followed by 
Alexander. I shall therefore restrict myself to Ar- 
rian's narrative, and merely add a few circum- 
stances from Strabo. 

The commencement of their march in the desert 
was over a region covered with myrrh-bearing shrubs, 
and the plant whence spikenard was extracted. The 
Phoenician merchants who accompanied the army rec- 
ognized these aromatics, and loaded beasts of burden 
with them. The trampling of the long columns 
crushed the fragrant steins, and diffused a grateful 
perfume through the still atmosphere. But the 
sandv desert is the native soil of aromatics, and the 
Macedonians soon found that the balmv gales and 
jDrecious odors were no compensation for the want 
of the more substantial necessaries of food and water. 
They were compelled to make long marches by night, 
and at a considerable distance from the sea, although 
Alexander was particularly anxious to keep near the 
shore ; for the maritime part was one series of naked 
rocks. Thoas, the son of ATandrodorus, was sent to 
examine if there were harbors, anchoring grounds, 
fresh water, and other such facilities for the progr 
of the fleet, to be found on the coast ; on his return he 
announced that he had discovered onlv a few starv- 
ing fishermen, who dwelt in stifling hovels, the walls 
of which were formed of shells, and their roofs of 
the backs and ribs of large fish, and who produced a 
scanty supply of brackish water by scraping holes in 
the sandy beach. 

Alarmed by this representation, as soon as he had 


reached a district in the desert where provisions were 
more plentiful, or probably a magazine had been 
formed, he loaded some beasts of burden with all that 
he could secure, sealed the packages with his own 
signet, and sent them to the coast for the use of the 
navy ; but the escort lost their way among the barren 
sands ; their own allowances failed ; and regardless 
of the king's displeasure, the men broke open the 
packages and devoured the contents. Nor did this 
conduct meet with any animadversion — as it was 
proved to have been the result of extreme hunger. 
By his own exertions he collected another supply, 
which was safely conveyed to the sea side by an officer 
named Cretheus. He also proclaimed large rewards 
for all such inhabitants of the more inland regions, 
as should drive down their flocks and herds, and carry 
flour and meal to the naval forces. Hitherto his care 
and fears were principally on their account ; but he 
was now entering the heart of the desert, where the 
safety of his accompanying land force became a 
doubtful question. 

All the companions of Alexander, who had fol- 
lowed him from Macedonia to the Hyphasis, agreed 
that the other labors and dangers in their Asiatic ex- 
pedition, were not to be compared with the fatigues 
and privations of the march through Gedrosia. The 
burning heat and the scarcity of water proved fatal 
to a great portion of the men, and to almost all the 
beasts of burden. For the desert was like an ocean 
of moving sand, and assumed all the fantastic shapes 
of driven snow. The men sunk deep into these 


banks or wreaths, and the progress of all the wheeled 
vehicles was soon stopped. The length of some of 
their marches exhausted them to the last degree, for 
these were regulated not by the strength of the men, 
but by the discovery of water. If after a night's 
march they reached wells or rivulets in the morn- 
ing, there was not much suffering. But if the 
march was prolonged till the sun was high in the 
heavens, and darted his noontide rays upon their 
heads, their thirst became intolerable and even un- 

The destruction of the beasts of burden was prin- 
cipally the work of the men, who in their hunger 
killed and devoured not only the oxen but horses and 
mules. For this purpose they would linger behind, 
and allege on coming up, that the animals had per- 
ished of thirst or fatigue. In the general relaxa- 
tion of discipline, which invariably accompanies sim- 
ilar struggles for life, few officers were curious in 
marking what was done amiss. Even Alexander 
could only preserve the form of authority, by an ap- 
parent ignorance of disorders which could not be 
remedied, and by conniving at offences which sever- 
ity could not have checked. 

But the destruction of the beasts of carriage was 
the death-warrant of the sick and exhausted, who 
were left behind without conductors and without con- 
solers. For eagerness to advance became the general 
characteristic, and the miseries of others were over- 
looked by men who anticipated their own doom. At 
such moments the mind would naturally recur to the 


old traditions — that of the innumerable host led by 
Semiramis to India, only twenty survived the return 
through this desert ; and that the great Cyrus was still 
more unfortunate, arriving in Persis with only seven 
followers — while the bones of the rest of his soldiers 
were left to bleach in the deserts of Gedrosia — 
amidst such appalling recollections the strong man 
could not sympathize deeply with his feebler com- 
rade, but husbanded his own strength for the event- 
ual struggle. 

As most of the marches were performed by night, 
many were overpowered by sleep and sunk on the 
road side. Few of these ever rejoined the army; 
they rose and attempted to pursue the track, but a 
consciousness of their desolation and the want of 
food, for famine in all its horrors was in the rear of 
such an army, soon paralyzed all exertion, and after 
floundering for a short period among the hillocks of 
yielding sand, they would lay themselves down and 

Another and most dissimilar misfortune overtook 
them. They had encamped one evening in the bed 
of a torrent, from the cavities in which they had 
scantily supplied themselves with water, when late 
at night, in consequence of a fall of rain among the 
mountains, the waters suddenly descended with the 
force and depth of an impetuous river, and swept 
everything before them. Many helpless women and 
children, whom the love and natural affection of their 
protectors had hitherto preserved, perished in the 
flood; which also carried away the royal equipage, 


and most of the remaining beasts of burden. A 
similar misfortune had indeed befallen them in In- 
dia ; but they had then encamped too near the brink 
of the magnificent Acesines ; and were not prepared 
to fear a like disaster from the sudden swell of a 
paltry torrent in Gedrosia. 

Many perished from drinking immoderate 
draughts of water. For as soon as it became known 
that the head of the column had arrived at wells, 
streams, or tanks, the soldiers, eager to allay their 
burning thirst, broke their ranks, rushed to the spot, 
and drank at their own discretion ; the most impa- 
tient even plunged into the water, as if anxious to 
imbibe the cooling moisture at every pore. This in- 
temperance proved equally fatal to man and beast. 
Alexander, therefore, taught by experience, made the 
troops halt at the distance of a mile, or a mile and a 
half, from the watering places, and employed steady 
men in conveying and distributing the water among 
the soldiers. 

One day, the army was thus toiling along through 
the yielding sand, parched by thirst, and under the 
scorching rays of a midday sun. The march had 
continued longer than usual, and the water was still 
far in front, when a few of the light troops, who had 
wandered from the main body, found at the bottom 
of a ravine a scanty portion of brackish water. Had 
it been thickened with the golden sands of the Pacto- 
lus, it conld not have been more highly estimated, 
nor collected with more scrupulous care. A helmet 
served for a cup, and with the precious nectar treas- 

Etat. 31.] SELF-DENIAL OF THE KING. 333 

ired in this, they hurried to the King. The great 
)fficers had long ceased to use their horses ; every gen- 

ral, for the sake of example, shared the marching 
a-foot at the head of his own brigade. Alexander 
bimself, who never imposed a duty on others, from 
which he shrunk in person, was now on foot, leading 
forwards the phalanx with labor and difficulty, and 
oppressed with thirst. He took the helmet from the 
hands of the light trooper, thanked him and his com- 
rades for their kind exertions, and then deliberately, 
in sight of all, poured the water into the thankless 
sands of the desert. The action, as Arrian justly 
observes, marks not only the great man, able to con- 
trol the cravings of nature, but the great general. 
For every soldier who witnessed the libation, and 
the self-denial of his King, received as strong a stim- 
ulus to his fainting faculties, as if he had partaken 
of the refreshing draught. 

At one period, the guides confessed that they knew 
not where they were, nor in what direction they were 
moving. A gale of wind had swept the surface of 
the desert, and obliterated everv trace in the sands ; 
there were no landmarks by which they could ascer- 
tain their position, no trees varied the eternal same- 
ness of the scene, while the sandy knolls shifted their 
ground, and changed their figures with every fresh 
storm. The inhabitants of these deserts had not, 
like the Libyans and Arabs, learned to shape their 
course by the sun and. stars ; — the army therefore was 
in the greatest danger of perishing in the pathless 


Alexander, thus thrown upon his own resources, 
took with him a few horsemen, and turning to the 
left, hastened by what he deemed the shortest cut to 
the sea shore. His escort dropped off by degrees, 
and five alone remained when he was fortunate 
enough to reach the coast. On digging into the 
sandy beach, these had the inexpressible pleasure of 
seeing pure and sweet water oozing into the cavities. 
Notice of the discovery was instantly communicated 
to the main body, and all were brought down to the 
shore. Along this they marched for seven days, and 
were supplied with water from these temporary wells. 
Then the guides recognized their way, and all again 
directing their course inland, arrived at Pura, the 
capital of Gedrosia, where, after a desert march of 
sixty days' continuance, their severe sufferings termi- 

Such is Arrian's account. Strabo adds : " Many 
sunk down on the road side, exhausted by fatigue, 
heat and thirst. These were seized with tremors, 
accompanied by convulsive motions of the hands and 
feet, and died like men overpowered by rigors and 
shivering fits. . . . There was a tree, not unlike the 
laurel, which proved poisonous to the beasts of bur- 
den. These, after browzing it, lost the use of their 
limbs, foamed at the mouth, and died. There was 
also a prickly plant, the fruit of which crept, like a 
cucumber, along the ground. This, when trodden 
upon, spurted a milky juice, and if any drops of it 
struck the eyes of man or boast, instant blindness 
followed. There was danger also from venomous 

JEtat. 31.] PURA— CARMANIA. 335 

serpents, that lurked under some shrubs which grew 
on the sea shore. Their bite was instant death. It 
is said that the Oreitae anointed their arrow-points, 
made of fire-hardened wood, with a deadly poison ; 
and that Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, was at the point 
of death from such a wound, but that Alexander, in 
his sleep, saw a person who showed him a root pecu- 
liar to that country, and ordered him to crush it and 
apply it to the wound ; that on awaking he recollected 
his dream, and by searching soon found the root, 
which abounded in the neighborhood, and applied it 
with success ; and that the barbarians, perceiving that 
a remedy had been discovered, made their submis- 
sions. ... Most probably" (continues Strabo) "some 
person acquainted with the secret gave Alexander the 
information, and the fabulous part was the addition 
of flatterers." * 

Pura, the capital of Gedrosia, is either the mod- 
ern Bunpore itself, or must have been situated in its 
immediate vicinity. For, with the exception of the 
Bunpore river, there is no stream within the pre- 
scribed limits capable of fertilizing a district large 
enough to support a metropolis, and to recruit the 
famished armv of Alexander. Arrian's Pura may 
still lurk in the last syllable of Bunpore, especially 
as the numerous Pores of India have no connection 
with the names of cities in Makran. Ptolemy calls 

* Wheeler calls the Makran the hottest and most hopeless 
part of the world, and says that after Alexander's experience 
no European is known to have penetrated it down to the nine- 
teenth century. 


the capital of Gedrosia Easis, probably a misprint for 
Oasis, the general appellation for isolated and fertile 
spots surrounded by deserts. The satrap of Ge- 
drosia, Apollophanes, had shamefully neglected his 
duty, and left undone all that he had been ordered to 
do. On him therefore fell the blame of the soldiers' 
sufferings, and he was degraded from his office, and 
succeeded by Thoas, the son of Mandrodorus. But 
he soon died, and Sibyrtius was appointed to the 
united satrapies of Arachosia and Gedrosia. 

As the King was marching from Pur a to the capi- 
tal of Carmania, the modern Kirman, he received in- 
telligence that Philip, whom he had left in command 
of all the country to the west of the upper Indus, had 
been slain, in a mutiny, by the Greek mercenaries 
under his command, but that the mutiny had been 
quelled, and the assassins put to death, by the Mace- 
donian troops. Alexander did not immediately ap- 
point a successor, but sent a commission, empowering 
Eudemus, a Greek, and the Indian Taxiles, to super- 
intend the satrapy for a short time. 

At Kirman Alexander was joined by Craterus. 
It does not appear that he had had to encounter any 
great difficulties. His course must have been up the 
Aral and down into the vale of the ITeermund. This 
great river would conduct him through the rich terri- 
tories of the Euergetse and lower Drangiana, till its 
waters terminate in the swampy lake of Zurrah. 
Erom the western edge of the lake to Kirman, there 
is a regular caravan road, which, with common pre- 
cautions, can be traversed by armies. Here also 


arrived Nearchus, the admiral of the fleet, who had 
conducted his charge in safety from the mouth of the 
Indus to Harniozia, on the coast of Carmania. The 
city and its name were in later ages transferred from 
the continent to the island which, under the style of 
Ormus, became, for a time, the most celebrated mart 
in the Indian seas. But its glory has past away, 
and the " throne of Ormus '' is now a barren rock. 

Of all the voyages distinctly recorded by the an- 
cients, this was the boldest, most adventurous and 
successful. Its able conductor was one of the earliest 
friends and favorites of Alexander, and was one of 
the five exiled from Macedonia for their attachment 
to the prince. Xearchus, by birth a Cretan, was, by 
admission, a citizen of Amphipolis on the Strymon, 
whence he called himself a Macedonian. Many of 
the ancients suspected his credibility as an author, 
and for this two good reasons might be assigned; 
first, he was a Cretan, and that for a popular argu- 
ment was sufficient — for, according to the well-known 

" All Cretans are liars ; " 

Secondly, Onesicritus, his master of the fleet, wrote 
an account of the same voyage ; nor did he scruple 
to introduce into it the most improbable fictions and 
romances ; so that Strabo calls him the arch-pilot not 
only of the fleet, but of falsehood. The ancients had 
no means of deciding between the conflicting testi- 
monies of the admiral and the master, and, as a nat- 
ural inference, doubted the credibility of both. Ar- 


rian alone, with his keen perception of the difference 
between truth and falsehood, after attentive exami- 
nations, ascertained the value of the narrative, and 
pronounced Xearchus to be an " approved writer." 

But still, implicit confidence cannot be placed in 
the admiral's statements. One feels that he does not 
tell " the whole truth and nothing but the truth." Pie 
was evidently a vain man; and probably was not, 
after Alexander's death, treated by the great Mace- 
donian officers with all the deference to which he 
thought himself entitled. He therefore dwelt rather 
offensively on every proof of Alexander's friendship 
and affection for him, as if laboring to show that 
the King made no difference between him and Mace- 
donians by birth. If we make allowance for this 
feeling, and for one or two extraordinary statements, 
we may confidently rely upon the general facts of the 

There arrived also, at Kirman, Stasanor, satrap 
of Areia and Zaranga, and the son of the satrap of 
Parthia and Hvrcania. These officers had antici- 
pated the result of the march through Gedrosia, and 
brought with them horses, mules and camels, for the 
use of the army. The troops left in Media were also 
conducted thither by their generals, Oleander, Sital- 
ces and TIeracon. These great officers were pub- 
licly accused, both by the natives and their own sol- 
diers, of sacrilege, in plundering temples and ran- 
sacking the tombs of the dead, and of tyranny, in per- 
petrating various acts of extortion and outrage on 
the property and persons of the living. "When the 


charges had been fully substantiated, they were con- 
demned and executed, as a warning to all other sa- 
traps of the certain fate that awaited such male- 
factors under the administration of Alexander. It 
was the knowledge of his inflexibility upon this point, 
and of his determination to protect the subject from 
the extortion and tyranny of the satraps, that pre- 
served tranquillity in the numerous provinces of his 
extensive empire. With the exception of the Bac- 
trian and Sogdian insurrection, caused by the arti- 
fices of Spitamenes, there does not appear to have oc- 
curred one single rebellion of the people, from the 
shores of the Hellespont to the banks of the Indus, 
from the borders of Scythia to the deserts of ^Ethio- 
pia. Several satraps attempted to wear the cidaris 
upright, or, in the language of scripture, to exalt 
their horn, but were easily put down, without even 
the cost of a battle. 



From Kirman, Hephsestion conducted the main 
body of the army, the baggage, and the elephants to 
the sea, as the road to Susiana along the coast was 
better supplied with provisions, and the climate 
warmer. Alexander himself, with the Companion 
cavalry, and a select force of infantry, marched to 

According to Aristobulus, Alexander early ex- 
pressed an anxious desire, if ever he subdued Persia, 
to examine the tomb of Cyrus the Great. Herodo- 
tus and Xenophon had given very contradictory ac- 
counts of his death : — the former asserting that he 
had been defeated, slain, and decapitated by the 
Scythian queen Tomyris ; — while, according to the 
latter, he had attained length of days, and been gath- 
ered to his fathers in peace. It is impossible to im- 
pute this intention of Alexander to any other cause 
than the desire to decide between these two conflict- 
ing testimonies ; and an examination of the body 
would enable him conclusively to determine the ques- 

During his hostile visit to Persia, he had found 
means to examine the tomb, and Aristobulus, who re- 


-ffitat. 32.] TOMB OF CYRUS. 341 

corded the particulars, was the officer employed upon 
the occasion. It occupied the centre of the royal 
park at Pasargada, and was embosomed in a shady 
grove. The surrounding lawn was irrigated by va- 
rious streamlets from the river Cyrus, and clothed 
with deep and luxuriant herbage. The tomb itself 
was a square building of hewn stone. The basement, 
of solid masonry, supported on one side a range of 
steps, that led to a small door in the face of the upper 
story. The entrance was so narrow, that it was dif- 
ficult for a man, below the usual size, to force his 
way in. Aristobulus, however, succeeded in gain- 
ing entrance, and carefully examined the whole. 
The chamber was roofed with stone. In the centre 
stood a couch, or bed, supported on golden feet, and 
covered with purple cushions. On the couch was 
placed a golden coffin, containing the embalmed body 
of Cyrus. Over all was spread a coverlet of the 
richest Babylonian tapestry. There were robes and 
tunics and drawers of the finest texture, and of every 
variety of color. On the table were placed orna- 
ments of various kinds, gold cups, scimitars, chains, 
bracelets, earrings, set in gold, and gemmed with 
precious stones. On the wall was engraved the fol- 
lowing inscription in the Persian language : — " O 
man, I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who acquired the 
empire for the Persians, and reigned over Asia. Do 
not, therefore, grudge me this tomb.". . . .At the foot 
of the range of steps which led to the door in the 
chamber, was built a small residence for the Magi, 
to whose care the sepulchre was intrusted. A sheep, 


and a corresponding quantity of wine and corn, were 
allowed for their daily subsistence, and a horse every 
month to be sacrificed to the manes of Cyrus. 

But although Aristobulus might have satisfied 
Alexander, no information has reached us respecting 
the state in which the bodv was found; whether it 
corresponded with Xenophon's description, or at- 
tested the superior judgment of Herodotus, who, 
among various Persian reports, had preferred that 
which recorded his defeat by Tomyris, and the sepa- 
ration of the head from the body. 

Many reasons might be alleged why Alexander 
should be loth to confirm the truth of the defeat of the 
great conqueror of Asia by the still formidable Scyth- 
ians, but not a single one for suppressing its contra- 
diction, had the body been found unmutilated. 
Moreover, the positive manner in which both Strabo 
and Arrian speak of the misfortune of Cyrus, proves, 
almost to a demonstration, that Herodotus, as to this 
matter, had been the historian, and Xenophon the 

Alexander, in the language of Greece, was a Philo- 
Cvrus,* and admired and venerated the founder of 
the Persian monarchy. He was, therefore, deeply 
shocked to find on his return to Pasargada, that the 
tomb which had been so religiously preserved and 
honored for more than two centuries, had, during his 
absence in the east, been sacrilegiously profaned and 
plundered ; for, on a second visit, nothing was found 
but the body, couch and coffin. The lid was stolen, 

* The modern word would be Cyrojphile. 

-ffitat. 32.] TOMB OF CYRUS. 343 

the corpse dragged out and shamefully mangled, and 
the coffin itself bore marks of violent attempts to 
break it to pieces, and, by crushing together the sides, 
to make it portable. It is worthy of remark, that the 
body of Alexander himself, a greater conqueror than 
Cyrus, was, for the sake of the golden coffin, treated 
in a similar manner by Cocces, and Ptolemy, sur- 
named the Intruder. The great, if they wish their 
ashes to repose undisturbed, should leave their wealth 
on this side of the grave ; any superfluous decoration 
of the tomb but serves to tempt the hand of the 

Alexander, with pious care, commissioned Aristo- 
bulus to restore everything to its prior state, and 
when that was accomplished, to build up the door 
with solid mason work. The Magi, suspected of hav- 
ing connived at the sacrilege, or at least criminally 
neglected their duty, were put to the torture ; but 
they persisted to affirm their innocence and their ig- 
norance of the offenders, and were dismissed. As 
Strabo properly observes, the failure to carry away 
the golden coffin, is a convincing proof that the at- 
tempt had been made in haste by some band of prowl- 
ing robbers, and not under the sanction of any con- 
stituted authorities. 

The Pasargadse, according to Herodotus, were the 
leading Persian clan or tribe. To it belonged the 
royal family of the Achsemenidae, who, since the days 
of Cyrus, had possessed the empire of Asia. Pasar- 
gada, apparently named from his own tribe, was built 
by Cyrus on the spot where he had gained his final 


victory over the Medes. Men of great learning and 
judgment have fallen into error, from confounding 
Pasargada with Parsagarda, the oriental name of 
Persepolis. The mistake is as old as Stephanus By- 
zantius. Were the site of Pasargada discovered, we 
might still hope to find the basement of the tomb of 

From Pasargada Alexander went to Persepolis, or 
Parsagarda,. where, as Arrian says, he repented of 
his deed as he viewed the melancholy ruins of the 
royal palace. 

Phrasaortes, the satrap of Persis, had died, but 
Orxines, a Persian nobleman, had, without waiting 
for Alexander's nomination, usurped the office. Xor 
had this bold deed, when first communicated to Alex- 
ander, excited his displeasure, as it seemed to origi- 
nate in conscious worth. But when he had arrived 
in Persis, so many acts of violence and oppression 
were laid to the self -elected satrap's charge, and sup- 
ported by Persian evidence, that the king, who had 
not spared his own officers, condemned Orxines to 

Peucestas, who alreadv for his faithful services in 
the Mallian citadel, had been appointed one of the 
commanders of the body guard, was further rewarded 
with the satrapy of Persis. Immediately on being 
appointed, he adopted the Persian dress, applied him- 
self to the study of the language, and in other points 
conformed to the Oriental habits. This conduct 
proved offensive to many Macedonians, but was ap- 

Mtat. 32.] THE GYMNOSOPHISTS. 34o 

plauded by Alexander, and rewarded by the warm 
attachment of the Persians. 

The attention of Alexander during the intervals 
of his Indian campaigns, had been considerably at- 
tracted to those religions devotees, whom the Greeks 
complimented with the name of Gymnosophists, or 
naked philosophers. At Taxila he understood that 
a college of these devotees resided in a grove near 
the suburbs, under the care and instruction of Dar- 
danis. Onesicritus, who was himself a disciple of 
"the dos;"* was sent to summon Dardanis to the 
royal presence. But he refused to obey — and would 
not allow any of his hearers to visit the King. He 
said that he was as much the son of Jupiter as Alex- 
ander, that he wanted nothing which Alexander 
could bestow, nor feared anything which he could 
inflict; that the fruits of the earth in their due sea- 
son sufficed him while living, and that death would 
only free his soul from the incumbrance of the body, 
at the best but a troublesome companion. Alexander 
respected the independent spirit of the savage, and 
gave him no further molestation ; but he persuaded 
another Gymnosophist, by name Calanus, to abjure 
his ascetic habits and follow him. His fellow reli- 
gionists loudly accused him of having forsaken the 
only road to happiness for the sake of the forbidden 
enjoyments of Alexander's table ; but Calanus perse- 
vered, and accompanied his patron into Persis. Here 
his health began to decline, and he therefore an- 
nounced his resolution to burn himself alive before 

* That is, of Diogenes the Cynic. 



[B.C. 324. 

any greater evils overtook him. Alexander having 
in vain attempted to dissuade him, ordered Ptolemy, 
the son of Lagus, to prepare a magnificent pile, and 
to see that all was conducted with order and pro- 
priety. He himself, from feelings which we must 
respect, refused to witness the horrid ceremony, al- 
though the Macedonians in general crowded to the 
sight. Calanus rode to the pile at the head of a long 
procession, ascended and took his place calmly, and 
while the fire was consuming his flesh, never moved 
a limb. The trumpets sounded a charge, the sol- 
diers raised the regular war shout, and, according to 
some authors, even the elephants raised their trunks, 
and loudly trumpeted their approbation of their 
heroic countryman. 

From Persepolis, Alexander marched into Su- 
siana. At the bridge across the Pasitigris or Caroon, 
in the vicinitv of the modern Sinister, he had the 
pleasure to find Xearchus and the fleet, who had cir- 
cumnavigated in safety from Harmozia into the 
bosom of the Susian province. The admiral joined 
the land armv in its westward march to Susa. 

Here also the satrap Abulities had abused his au- 
thority, and with his son, Ox'athres, was accused by 
the Susians of tyranny and oppression. They were 
both found guilty and put to death. Many satraps 
had acted thus on the supposition that there would 
be no future account, no day of reckoning. Most 
men either hoped or feared that Alexander would 
never return with life. They took into considera- 
tion the sword, the climate, the elephants, the wild 


beasts, the rivers, the desert, and the other perils to 
which he recklessly exposed himself, and thought 
they might calculate, without much risk, on final 
impunity. Among the most notorious offenders was 
the wretched Harpalus, who had been left to super- 
intend the treasury at Ecbatana. On hearing of 
the fate of Oleander, Sitalces, and Heracon, the as- 
sociates of his crimes, he hastily took 5,000 talents 
from the treasury, hired the services of 6,000 mer- 
cenaries, and, under their escort, safely arrived with 
his stolen wealth at Mount Tsenarus in Laconia. 
He attempted to excite the Athenians to take up 
arms, but the assembly for the time had the wisdom 
to reject his persuasions and his bribes. Thence he 
wandered to Crete, where soon after he was put to 
death by Thimbron, the chief officer of his own mer- 

Alexander was so shocked by this double villainy 
of Harpalus, that he could not for some time be 
brought to believe it. He even threw into prison the 
first person who brought information of his robbery 
and flight. His temper was not improved by this 
event, and it was observed, that thenceforward, he 
was more inclined to listen to accusation, and less 
ready to pardon offences. Experience was doing its 
natural work, and impressing him with the stern ne- 
cessity of preferring justice to mercy, and of not 
allowing petty offenders to swell, by long impunity, 
to the full proportion of state criminals. 

He had no donbt discovered by this time, that the 
Medes and Persians, for it is difficult to draw a dis- 


tinction between them, were the finest and most trust- 
worthy race in Asia. He had long ceased to regard 
them with feelings peculiarly hostile, and now pre- 
pared to draw closer the union between them and the 
Macedonians. At Susa he collected all the nobles 
of the empire, and celebrated the most magnificent 
nuptials recorded in history. He married Par- 
sine,* or Stateria, the daughter of the late king, and 
thus, in the eyes of his Persian subjects, confirmed 
his title to the throne. His father, Philip, was a 
polygamist in practice, although it would be very 
difficult to prove that the Macedonians in general 
were allowed a plurality of wives ; but Alexander was 
now the King of Kings, and is more likely to have 
been guided by Persian than Grecian opinions upon 
the subject. Eighty of his principal officers fol- 
lowed the example, and were united to the daughters 
of the chief nobility of Persia. To Hephsestion was 
given the second daughter of Darius — Alexander be- 
ing anxious that his own and Hephsestion's children 
should be as closely connected by blood as their fath- 
ers by friendship. To Craterus, next in favor to 
Hepha^stion, superior to all in authority, was given 
Amastrine, the daughter of Oxyartes, the brother of 
Darius. These three princesses, distinguished as 
they were by this selection, were all destined to early 
widowhood and a life of sorrow. Amastrine alone 
was equal to the struggle. After the death of Cra- 

* Barsine was the widow of Memnon, a Rhodian Greek, the 
best general of the Persian army, who first met Alexander at 
Granicus. See above, page C3. 


terus she married Dionysius, despot of the Bithynian 
Heracleia, and gave her name to the town Amastris 
founded by herself on that coast. Her influence was 
so great in that country as to induce King Lysi- 
machus to become her husband. 

To Perdiccas was given the daughter of Atropates, 
the satrap of Media : she also was soon a widow, but 
her father, after the assassination of his son-in-law, 
declared himself independent and founded the last 
Median kingdom, called from him Atropatene, by 
the Orientals Adherbijan. 

To Ptolemy and Eumenes were given Artacana 
and Artonis, the daughters of Artabazus. The 
brothers-in-law took different sides in the succeeding 
dissensions ; — Eumenes fell ; but Ptolemy became the 
father of a long line of kings. 

To JNTearchus was given a daughter of the Rhodian 
Mentor, by Barcine, a Persian lady. 

To Seleucus was given Apama, the daughter of 
the brave and patriotic Spitamenes. This was the 
happiest union : — from it sprung the Seleusidse, who 
for three centuries ruled the destinies of Western 
Asia ; and the numerous cities honored with the name 
of Apameia proved the love of her husband and the 
filial affection of her son. 

The marriages, in compliment to the brides, were 
celebrated after the Persian fashion, and during the 
vernal equinox. For at no other period, by the an- 
cient laws of Persia, could nuptials be legally cele- 
brated. Such an institution is redolent of the poetry 
and freshness of the new world, and of an attention 


to the voice of nature, and tlie analogies of physical 
life. The young couple would marry in time to sow 
their field, to reap the harvest, and gather their 
stores, before the season of cold and scarcity over- 
took them. It is difficult to say how far this cus- 
tom prevailed among primitive nations, but it can 
scarcely be doubted that we still retain lingering 
traces of it in the harmless amusements of St. Val- 
entine's day. 

On the wedding-day Alexander feasted the eighty 
bridegrooms in a magnificent hall prepared for the 
purpose. Eighty separate couches were placed for 
the guests, and on each a magnificent wedding-robe 
for every individual. At the conclusion of the ban- 
quet, and while the wine and the dessert were on the 
table, the eighty brides were introduced; Alexander 
first rose, received the princess, took her by the hand, 
kissed her, and placed her on the couch close to him- 
self. The example was followed by all, till every 
lady was seated by her betrothed. This formed the 
whole of the Persian, ceremony — the salute being re- 
garded as the seal of appropriation. The Mace- 
donian form was still more simple and symbolical. 
The bridegroom, dividing a small loaf with his 
sword, presented one half to the bride; wine was 
then poured as a libation on both portions, and the 
contracting parties tasted of the bread. Cake and 
wine, as nuptial refreshments, may thus claim a ven- 
erable antiquity. In due time the bridegrooms con- 
. ducted their respective brides to chambers prepared 
for them within the precincts of the royal palace. 


The festivities continued for five days, and all 
the amusements of the age were put into requisition 
for the entertainment of the company. Athenseus 
has quoted from Chares, a list of the chief perform- 
ers, which I transcribe more for the sake of the per- 
formances and of the states where these lighter arts 
were brought to the greatest perfection, than of the 
names, which are now unmeaning sounds. Scymnus 
from Tarentum, Philistides from Syracuse, and 
Heracleitus from Mitylene, were the great jugglers, 
or as the Greek word intimates, the wonder-workers 
of the day. After them, Alexis, the Tarentine, dis- 
played his excellence as a rhapsodist, or repeater, to 
appropriate music, of the soul-stirring poetry of 
Homer. Cratinus the Methymnsean, Aristonymus 
the Athenian, Athenodorus the Teian, played on the 
harp — without being accompanied by the voice. On 
the contrary, Heracleitus the Tarentine and Aristo- 
crates the Theban, accompanied their harps with 
lyric songs. The performers on wind instruments 
were divided on a similar, although it could not be 
on the same principle. Dionysius from Heracleia, 
and Hyperbolus from Cyzicum, sang to the flute, or 
some such instrument ; while Timotheus, Phryni- 
chus, Scaphisius, Diophantus, and Evius, the Chal- 
cidian, first performed the Pythian overture, and 
then, accompanied by choruses, displayed the full 
power of wind instruments in masterly hands. 
There was also a peculiar class called eulogists of 
Bacchus; these acquitted themselves so well on this 
occasion, applying to Alexander those praises which 


in their extemporaneous effusions had hitherto been 
confined to the god, that they acquired the name of 
Eulogists of Alexander. Xor did their reward fail 
them. The stage, of course, was not without its 
representatives : — Thessalus, Athenodorus, Aristo- 
critus, in tragedy — Lycon, Phormion, and Ariston, 
in comedy — exerted their utmost skill, and contended 
for the prize of superior excellence. Phasimelus, 
the dancer, was also present. 

We read in Xenophon that the Persian women 
were so well made and beautiful, that their attrac- 
tions might easily have seduced the affections of the 
Ten Thousand, and have caused them, like the lotus- 
eating companions of Ulysses, to forget their native 
land. Some little hints as to the mode in which 
their beauty was enhanced and their persons deco- 
rated, may be expected in the Life of Alexander, 
who, victorious over their fathers and brothers, yet 
submitted to their charms-. • 

The Persian ladies wore the tiara or turban, richlv 
adorned' with jewels. They wore their hair long, 
and both plaited and curled it ; nor, if the natural 
failed, did they scruple to use false locks. They 
pencilled the eyebrows, and tinged the eyelid, with a 
dye that was supposed to add a peculiar brilliancy to 
the eyes. They were fond of perfumes, and their 
delightful ottar was the principal favorite. Their 
tunic and drawers were of fine linen, the robe or 
gown of silk — the train of this was long, and on 
state occasions required a supporter. Round the 
waist they wore a broad zone or cincture flounced 

JEtat. 32.] PERSIAN DRESS. 353 

on both edges, and embroidered and jewelled in the 
centre. They also wore stockings and gloves, but 
history has not recorded their materials. They used 
no sandals ; a light and ornamented shoe was worn in 
the house ; and for walking they had a kind of coarse 
half boot. They used shawls and wrappers for the 
person, and veils for the head ; the veil was large and 
square, and when thrown over the head descended low 
on all sides. They were fond of glowing colors, es- 
pecially of purple, scarlet, and light-blue dresses. 
Their favorite ornaments were pearls ; they wreathed 
these in their hair, wore them as necklaces, ear-drops, 
armlets, bracelets, anklets, and worked them into con- 
spicuous parts of their dresses. Of the precious 
stones they preferred emeralds, rubies, and tur- 
quoises, which were set in gold and worn like the 

Alexander did not limit his liberality to the wed- 
ding festivities, but presented every bride with a 
handsome marriage portion. He also ordered the 
names of all the soldiers who had marrie'd Asiatic 
wives to be registered ; their number exceeded 10,- 
000 ; and each received a handsome present, under 
the name of marriage gift. 

The Macedonian army did not differ in principle 
from other armies. The conquerors of Asia were 
not all rich ; great plunder and sudden gain are in 
general lavishly spent. Many were in difficulties, 
and deeply indebted to the hoard of usurers, plunder- 
merchants, and credit-givers, that in all ages have 
been the devouring curse of European as well as of 


Asiatic armies. Alexander, aware of this, deter- 
mined to signalize the season of rejoicing by a gen- 
eral payment of all his soldiers' debts. He there- 
fore, by a public order, announced this generous in- 
tention, and ordered all bonds, contracts, and other 
securities, to be brought by the debtor and creditor 
to the officers of the treasury, who were to register the 
debtor's names and pay all debts legally due. Few 
were bold enough to accept this princely offer, as 
most suspected it to be a test to enable the King to 
distinguish the frugal and the prudent from the ex- 
travagant and dissolute. Alexander was displeased 
with this distrust, as, according to him, " kings 
should not dissemble with their subjects, nor sub- 
jects with their kings." He then ordered tables cov- 
ered with gold to be placed in various parts of the 
camp, and nothing more was required than for the 
debtor and creditor to present themselves, receive the 
money, and cancel the securities before the officers. 
Twenty thousand talents were thus disbursed ; and 
the soldiers felt more grateful for the delicacy of the 
manner than the substantial nature of the relief. 
Political economists will exclaim against the meas- 
ure, — moralists will blame it as a direct premium 
for the production of false documents ; — it is useless 
to argue the question, for there is no apparent dan- 
ger that the example will ever be imitated. 

Separate rewards were assigned to every man who 
had distinguished himself, either by superior conduct 
or brilliant actions, during the late campaign. Peu- 
cestas and Leonnatus received crowns of gold for 

JEtat. 32.] GIFTS TO THE ARMY. 355 

their good service in the Mallian citadel; — the lat- 
ter had also enhanced his claim by gaining a decisive 
victory over the Oreitse. Nearchus and Onesicritns 
were honored in the same manner, for the skill and 
success with which they had conducted the fleet from 
the Indus to the Persian Gulf. 

The 30,000 boys who had been selected in the 
upper provinces were now full grown, and were con- 
ducted by their respective officers to Susa, to be re- 
viewed by the King. They had been fully instructed 
in the Greek language and the Macedonian discipline, 
and received from Alexander the honorable name of 
Epigoni. Such was the appellation given to Dio- 
med and his six companions, who had taken Thebes, 
besieged in vain by their fathers. By giving this 
name to the young warriors, Alexander clearly inti- 
mated his intention to achieve by their aid the con- 
quests which the Macedonian veterans had left un- 
finished. The name was preserved, and, in the his- 
tory of the Asiatic Greeks, belongs to the successors 
of those great generals who, after Alexander's death, 
became the founders of so many new dynasties. The 
first race of warrior kings were called the Diadochi. 

The sight of the 30,000 Epigoni, in the spring of 
life, armed and disciplined after the Macedonian 
fashion, gave deep offence to the veterans. The 
Median dress of Alexander, the intermarriages, and 
their celebration according to oriental forms, the 
Persian robes and language of Peucestas, and the 
King's approbation of his conduct, served to feed 
discontent; — but all these were trifles when com- 


pared with the steps taken to enable the King to dis- 
pense with the services of the Macedonians. For 
the innovations were not confined to infantry ; the 
Companion cavalry had been largely recruited from 
the bravest and most skilful horsemen of Bactria, 
Sogdiana, Arachosia, Zarangia, Areia, Parthia, and 
Persis. Even a fifth brigade was raised, princi- 
pally consisting of barbarians. It was commanded 
by Hydaspes, a Bactrian ; under him served the sons 
of the highest nobility of the empire, and among 
them Itanes, the brother of the Queen Boxana. The 
Macedonian lance replaced the more inefficient jave- 
lin, and a heavy sword the light and curved scyme- 
tar. The purpose of these measures was obvious ; 
the Macedonians saw with indignation that their 
King was determined to be emancipated from mili- 
tary thraldom, and to place himself beyond the con- 
trol of their wayward disposition. They had 
mutinied on the banks of the Hyphasis, because they 
were wearied with wars, marches, and conquests, and 
now they were ready to mutiny on the banks of the 
Choaspes, because their indulgent king had complied 
with all their wishes. 

As a body they were unable to conceive any sys- 
tem of rational conquest, and, far from sympathiz- 
ing with the forecast of their own enlightened prince, 
wished rather to imitate the career of the Scvthians, 
who, nearly 300 years before, had subdued all West- 
ern Asia, and pitched their camp in its fairest prov- 
inces. For eight-and-twenty years their sole occupa- 
tion was to destroy, to ravish, to plunder, to revel ; — 


then arrived the period of reaction, and of -unsparing 
retribution : the chiefs were massacred at a drunken 
feast, and all the men were cut to pieces. — These, 
nevertheless, were the victors whose example had 
most charms for the private Macedonians. 

Alexander next undertook to explore the rivers of 
Susiana, and to view the sea-coast at the upper end 
of the Persian Gulf. He therefore, with his guards 
and a small detachment of the Companion cavalry, 
marched to the Karoon or Pasi-Tigris and embarked 
on board the fleet. Hephsestion conducted the rest 
of the army by land. 

The fleet fell down the Pasi-Tigris,* a magnificent 
stream, not inferior after its junction with the Co- 
prates, the modern Ab-Zal, to the Tigris or Eu- 
phrates. When Alexander sailed on its bosom the 
country on both sides was highly cultivated, and 
abounded with an active population. The climate 
of Susiana is hotter than in the neighboring prov- 
inces — its southern aspect, and hollow site below 
Blount Lagnos, adding power to the sun and sultri- 
ness to the air. Its fertility, under a judicious sys- 
tem of irrigation, is equalled by Babylonia alone. 
In ancient times the return of wheat and barley 
crops was a hundred and sometimes two hundred 
fold. In our days a few straggling Arabs pasture 

* Strabo informs us that the name Pasi-Tigris, which ac- 
cording to oriental etymologists signifies the eastern Tigris, 
was applied by some Greeks to the Shat-uJ-Arab, on the 
s-ipposition that it was a Greek name, and signified the united 
waters of all the rivers connected with the Tigris. 


their flocks on the hanks of the great streams, and 
loosely traverse what they do not occupy. 

Alexander with the hest sailing vessels entered the 
Persian gulf by the main channel of the Karoon, and 
then coasted to the right until he arrived at the mouth 
of the great estuary, now called the Shat-ul-Arab, 
into which the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris, 
the Gyndes, and the Choaspes are discharged. The 
heavier and more disabled vessels did not venture 
into the gulf, but passed from the Karoon into the 
Shat-ul-Arab, along a canal now called the Hafar. 
The whole fleet joined at the western mouth of the 
Hafar Cut, and sailed up the estuary to the place 
where Hephsestion and the rest of the army were en- 
camped. From the camp the fleet sailed upwards, 
and entered the separate channel of the Tigris. 
Here it had to encounter the numerous bunds, dykes, 
or cataracts, with which the Assyrian kings had 
curbed and intersected the stream. 

Ancient Assyria was not like Egypt benefited by 
river inundation. For the earthy particles, borne 
down by the floods of the Tigris and Euphrates, are 
deeply impregnated with the salts of the desert, and, 
instead of nourishing plants, prove destructive to 
vegetation. The same waters when low, and after 
the noxious particles have subsided, possess the most 
fertilizing qualities, and, wheresoever they are care- 
fully admitted and gradually diffused, will change 
the barren desert into a smiling garden. 

The Assyrian kings, anxious to guard against the 
evil and to secure the good, had constructed immense 

^Etat. 32.] SKILL OF THE ASSYRIANS. 359 

works for two contrary purposes. The first were 
mounds, of great height and solidity, raised to confine 
the rivers within their banks, and prevent the noxious 
floods from spreading over the plains. Many of 
these were carried across the isthmus between the 
two rivers — so that, if the floods burst the embank- 
ments on any one point, the evil might be partial. 
The second were the dykes or bunds by which, in the 
season of low water, the level of the river was raised 
so as to enter the numerous canals, and diffuse the 
fertilizing streams over the greatest possible surface 
of ground. These were sometimes formed of stone, 
and many still remain — lasting monuments of the 
skill and industry of the ancient Assyrians. The 
rivers were divided by these works into a succession 
of steps, each terminated by a fall, greater or less, 
according to the elevation of the bund. The Greeks 
therefore called them cataracts or waterfalls. 

The Macedonians imagined that, as the Persians 
were not a naval power, these obstructions were in- 
tended to impede the entrance of hostile fleets into 
the bosom of the country. Alexander could hardly 
have been ignorant of their real use, but his views 
were not confined to agriculture. An enlarged com- 
merce, and the creation of a powerful fleet on these 
streams, were among his favorite objects. He there- 
fore destroved all the bunds between the mouth of the 
Tigris and the city Opis, and reduced the river to 
its natural level. On the supposition that they were 
defences he is said to have declared, " that such de- 
vices were not for conquerors." 


The city Opis was not far from the mouth of the 
river Gyndes ; at this period it was a city of some im- 
portance, but the foundation of Seleuceia higher up 
the river proved its ruin. Alexander either landed 
here and marched with all the army along the royal 
road to Susa, or, as stated by Pliny, sailed from the 
estuary into the Eukeus or Choaspes, the modern 
Kerah, and ascended by that stream to Susa. 

There he summoned the Macedonians to a general 
assembly, and announced his intention to grant a dis- 
charge to all who were invalid from age, wounds, 
or disease, and to have them conducted in safety to 
their several homes. He promised " to render the 
condition of those who were to remain still more en- 
viable, and thus to excite other Macedonians to share 
their labors and dangers." 

Alexander had a right to expect that this announce- 
ment would be hailed with gratitude and applause. 
It comprehended every request made by Coenus in 
behalf of the veterans, nor could they for a moment 
doubt the liberality of the provision intended for 
them on their retirement. But the Macedonians h^d 
long been ripe for mutiny. The barbarians among 
the Companion cavalry, the formidable array of the 
Epigoni, their Macedonian arms and discipline, were 
grievances that could be no longer borne, especially 
as they proved their king's intention to act and speak 
in future without consulting the pleasure of the 
military assembly. 

The whole body, therefore, broke out into loud and 
mutinous cries, called upon him to discharge them 

^Etat. 32.] MACEDONIAN MUTINY. 361 

all, and to " take his new father Ammon for his as- 
sociate in future campaigns. " But Alexander was 
too well prepared to be intimidated by this violent 
explosion; he rushed from the tribunal, and being 
supported by his great officers, entered the crowd, 
and ordered the guards to seize the ringleaders. He 
pointed out the most guilty with his own hand, and 
when thirteen had been thus apprehended, he ordered 
them all to be led to instant execution. When bv this 
act of vigor he had terrified the assembly into a state 
of sullen silence, he reascended the tribunal and thus 
spoke — 

" I have no intention, Macedonians, to dissuade 
you from returning home ; you have my full leave 
to go your own way ; but I wish to remind you of the 
change in your circumstances, of your obligations to 
my family, and of the manner in which you now 
propose to repay them. I begin, as in duty bound, 
with my father Philip. At his accession you were 
poverty-stricken wanderers, mostly clad in skins, 
herding your scanty flocks on the bare hills, and fight- 
ing rudely in their defence against the Illyrians, 
Triballi, and Thracians. Under him you exchanged 
your garbs of skin for cloaks of cloth. He led you 
from the hills to the plains, taught you to withstand 
the barbarians on equal ground, and to rely for 
safety on personal valor, not on mountain fastnesses. 
He assembled you in cities, and civilized you by use- 
ful laws and institutions. He raised you from a 
state of slavery and dependence, to be the masters of 
the barbarians, by whom you had so long been de- 


spoiled and plundered. He added Thrace to your 
empire, occupied the most advantageous situations 
on the sea-shore, — thus securing the blessings of com- 
merce and enabling you to convert the produce of the 
mines to the best advantage. Under him you be- 
came the leaders of the Thessalians, of whom pre- 
viously you entertained a deadly terror. By the 
humiliation of the Phocians, he opened a broad and 
easy entrance into Greece, which before could be en- 
tered only by one narrow and difficult pass. By the 
victory at Chaeroneia, where, young as I was, I 
shared in the danger, he humbled the Athenians and 
Thebans, the eternal plotters against the peace of 
Macedonia, and converted you from being the tribu- 
taries of Athens and the vassals of Thebes, to be the 
lord-protectors of both states. He then entered the 
Peloponnesus, arranged its affairs, and was declared 
captain-general of all Greece against Persia. This 
appointment was no less honorable to himself in par- 
ticular, than to the Macedonians in general. These 
are my father's works, — great, if estimated intrin- 
sically, — trifling, if compared with the benefits con- 
ferred by me. 

" At my accession I inherited a few gold and 
silver cups, and sixty talents in the treasury, while 
mv father's debts exceeded five hundred. I made 
myself answerable for these, and borrowed eight hun- 
dred more in my own name ; then leaving Macedonia, 
which furnished you with only a scant subsistence, I 
immediately opened the passage of the Hellespont, 
although the Persians were then masters of the sea. 

^tat. 32.] SPEECH OF ALEXANDER. 363 

With my cavalry alone I conquered the satraps of 
Darius, and added to your empire Ionia, iEolia, the 
Phrygias and Lydia. I besieged and took Miletus, 
and as the other provinces gave in their submission, 
appointed you to draw the revenues. You derive the 
advantages accruing from iEgypt and Cyrene, ac- 
quired by me without a blow. You possess Coelo- 
Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Bactria, 
and Susa. To you belong the wealth of Lydia, the 
treasures of Persia, the luxuries of India and of the 
eastern ocean. You are satraps, generals, and col- 
onels. What do I retain from the fruits of all my 
labors but this purple robe and diadem ? Individ- 
ually I have nothing. Nobody can show treasures 
of mine which are not yours, or preserved for your 
use, for I have no temptation to reserve anything 
for myself. Your meals differ not from mine, nor 
do I indulge in longer slumbers ; the luxurious among 
you fare, perhaps, more delicately than their king, 
and I know that he often watches that you may sleep 
in safety. 

" Nor can it be objected that you have acquired 
all by your toils and dangers, while I, the leader, 
have encountered neither risks nor labors. Is there 
a man among you who is conscious of having toiled 
more for me than I for him ? Nay more, let him 
among you who has wounds to show, strip and dis- 
play the scars, and I will show mine, for no part of 
my person in front has escaped unwounded, nor 
is there a hand-weapon or missile of which I bear 
not the mark on my body. I have been struck hand 


to hand with the sword, by javelins, arrows and darts 
discharged from engines. It is under showers of 
stones and steel-shod missiles that I have led you to 
victory, glory and wealth, by sea and land, over 
mountains, rivers, and desert places. 

" I have married from the same class as yourselves, 
and my children and the children of many among 
you will be blood-relations. Without inquiring into 
the manner in which they were contracted, I have 
paid all your debts, although your pay is great, and 
the booty from captured cities has been immense. 
Most of you possess crowns of gold, lasting monu- 
ments of your own valor and my approbation. Those 
who have fallen have finished their course with glory, 
(for under my auspices no Macedonian ever perished 
in flight,) and have been honored with splendid fu- 
nerals ; statues of bronze preserve the memory of 
most of them in their native country; their parents 
receive particular honors, and are free from all pub- 
lic duties and imposts. 

" It was my intention to have sent home all the 
invalids, and to have made their condition enviable 
among their fellow citizens ; but since it is your wish 
to depart altogether, depart all of you, and on your 
return home, announce, that after Alexander, your 
king, had conquered the Medes, Bactrians, and Saca? ; 
had subdued the Uxians, Arachosians, and Dran- 
gians ; had added to the empire Parthia, Chorasmia, 
and Ilvrcania, and the shores of the Caspian sea ; 
had led you over Mount Caucasus and through the 
Caspian gates, beyond the Oxus and Tanais, and the 

JEtat. 32.] PERSIAN PHALANX. 365 

Indus, previously crossed by Dionysus alone, and the 
Hydaspes, the Acesines, and the Hydraotes ; and had 
your hearts not failed, would have led you beyond 
the Hyphasis also ; after he had entered the ocean by 
both mouths of the Indus, had passed through the 
Gedrosian desert, never before traversed by an army, 
and had conquered Carmania and Oreitia during the 
march — when his fleet had circumnavigated from 
India into the Persian Gulf — and all had arrived at 
Susa — you there deserted him and turned him over 
to the care of the conquered barbarians. These facts, 
faithfully reported, cannot fail to gain you the ap- 
plause of men and the favor of the gods. Depart." 
With these words he descended hastily from the 
tribunal and entered the palace. There he remained 
secluded from public view for two days, but as the 
Macedonians showed no signs of submission he took 
more decisive measures. Had he yielded on the 
present occasion, his real authority must have ceased, 
and a mutiny would have become the natural resource 
whenever the army judged itself aggrieved. On the 
third day, therefore, he summoned the Persian no- 
bility to the palace; with their assistance he formed 
a barbarian force, modelled on the same principle 
and armed in the same manner as the Macedonian 
army. The Epigoni furnished abundant materials, 
and the whole soon assumed the names and divisions 
of its prototype. The barbarian phalanx had its 
select brigade called Agema. A division of the bar- 
barian companion cavalry received the same distin- 
guished name, Persian guards were also embodied 


to represent the favored Hypaspists or Argyraspides, 
(silver shields,) who had been Alexander's constant 
attendants on all dangerous services. These arrange- 
ments were galling enough, but the revival of the 
Persian body-guard called the Royal Kinsmen, who 
alone had the privilege of saluting the king of kings, 
alarmed the Macedonians beyond measure, and 
proved that nothing but instant submission could 
save them from being all discharged and dispersed. 

For two days they had remained under arms on the 
ground where the assembly had been held; — expect- 
ing probably that the third day would, as before, 
produce a change in their favor. But when the 
result proved so contrary to their hopes, they hurried 
in a body to the gates of the palace, and piled their 
arms to show the nature of their application. They 
here loudly implored the king to come forth ; declar- 
ing their willingness to give up the surviving ring- 
leaders, and their determination not to quit the spot 
by night or day before they received pardon and 

When this change was reported to Alexander, he 
hastened forth; nor, on witnessing their humble be- 
havior and expressions of sorrow, could he refrain 
from tears. He remained thus for some time — wish- 
ing to speak, but unable to express his feelings, while 
they still persevered in their supplications. 

At last Callines, a commander of the Companion 
cavalry, whose age and rank gave him superior privi- 
leges, spoke in behalf of all. " The Macedonians 
are principally grieved because you have made Per- 


sians your relations, and Persians are called the kins- 
men of Alexander, and thus allowed to kiss you, 
while no Macedonian enjoys that privilege." The 
king immediately answered, " But you are all my 
kinsmen, and shall henceforwards bear that name 
and enjoy the distinction annexed to it." Upon this 
Callines approached and kissed him, and his example 
was followed by others. Thus the reconciliation 
was sealed, and the soldiers resumed their arms, and 
returned to the camp with loud paeans and acclama- 

Thus terminated a mutiny that broke out without 
any specific cause, and was quelled without conces- 
sions. The king's victory was complete, and the es- 
tablishment of a Persian force under separate officers 
enabled him to hold the balance between his old and 
new subjects. In order to celebrate the happy recon- 
ciliation, a public banquet was provided, to which all 
of rank and distinction — Greeks and Asiatics — were 
invited. The guests were nine thousand in number. 
The Grecian priests and the oriental Magi prefaced 
the libation with the usual prayers, and implored the 
gods to confirm and perpetuate the concord and union 
of the Macedonians and Persians. At the close of 
this prayer every individual poured the libation, and 
the prean or thanksgiving hymn was chanted by nine 
thousand voices. As some readers may find it diffi- 
cult to conceive how nine thousand guests could be 
accommodated at the same banquet, I add for the 
sake of illustration a description of a similar feast 
from Diodorus Siculus, 


" When the troops arrived at Persepolis, Peuces- 
tas, the satrap, offered magnificent sacrifices to the 
gods and to Philip and Alexander. Victims and all 
other requisites for a banquet had been collected 
from all parts of Persis, and at the conclusion of the 
sacrifices the whole army sat down to the feast. The 
troops were formed into four concentric circles. The 
circumference of* the outermost circle was ten stadia. 
This was composed of the allies and mercenaries. 
The circumference of the second circle was eight 
stadia ; it was composed of the x\rgyraspides and the 
other troops, who had served under Alexander. The 
third circle was four stadia in circumference, and in- 
cluded the cavalry, the officers of inferior rank, and 
the friends of the generals, both civil and military. 
The centre was two stadia in circumference, and the 
space within was occupied by the tents of the gen- 
erals, of the chief officers of the cavalry, and of the 
noblest Persians. In the very middle were the altars 
of the gods and of Alexander and Philip. The tents 
were shaded with green boughs, and furnished with 
carpets and tapestry hangings — as Persis furnishes 
in abundance all materials for luxury and eniovment. 
The circles were formed so judiciously, that al- 
though there was no thronging nor crowding on each 
other, the banquet was within the reach of all." 

Peucestas had arranged his guests after the model 
furnished by Alexander. Por at the reconciliation 
dinner (if I may venture upon the word), immedi- 
ately round the king the Macedonians were seated — 
next to them the Persians — and beyond the Persians 


the individuals of other nations, according to their 
rank and dignity. Nor, perhaps, would we be wrong 
in supposing the whole order to have been Persian 
and not Grecian. For the great king used to give 
public banquets at periodical seasons, not only to his 
courtiers and guards, but to the deputies from his 
numerous satrapies. On such occasions, we learn 
from the Book of Esther, the king occupied the chief 
place of honor, while immediately in front of him 
were the representatives of the seven great families 
of Persia, with the other guests behind them, accord- 
ing to their rank. We are informed by Herodotus 
that the Persians regarded themselves as the centre 
of the created world, and the noblest tribe on the face 
of it ; and that other nations partook of honor and no- 
bility in proportion to their propinquity to the in- 
fluence-spreading centre. Had therefore the orig- 
inal etiquette of the Persian court been enforced, the 
Macedonians must have been placed in the rear of 
their own Thracian dependants. 

A scrutiny now took place, and a selection was 
made of all the Macedonians whom age, wounds, or 
other accident had incapacitated for active service. 
Their number exceeded ten thousand. Alexander 
allowed them full pay until they reached their several 
homes, and presented every invalid with a talent 
more than was due to him. As many had children 
by Asiatic women, he took the maintenance and edu- 
cation of all these upon himself, that they might not 
give rise to jealousies and domestic disturbances be- 
tween their fathers and their connections in Mace- 


donia. He promised to educate them like Macedo- 
nian soldiers, and in due time to conduct them home 
and present them to their veteran fathers. 

But what the invalids regarded as the highest com- 
pliment, was the appointment of Craterus to take 
the charge of them. The health of this amiable man 
and great officer, had declined of late, and a return 
to his native air was judged advisable for its re-es- 
tablishment. He was to conduct the veterans home, 
and to succeed Antipater in the regency of Macedo- 
nia, and the management of Greece. Antipater had 
discharged his duties with great judgment, prudence, 
and success: nor does Alexander's confidence in him 
appear ever to have been shaken. But the continued 
complaints of Olympias, a restless and, as she after- 
wards proved herself, a blood-thirsty woman, had of 
late grown more violent ; and Antipater also had been 
compelled to represent in more severe terms, the tur- 
bulence and ferocity of her conduct. Olympias re- 
ceived from her son everything that he could give, 
but political power ; while nothing but the possession 
of this, could satisfy her imperious temper. She was 
loud in her accusations of Antipater, who, accord- 
ing to her, had forgotten the hand that raised him, 
and exercised his authority as if inherent in him- 

Alexander, therefore, anxious to prevent any act of 
violence,' in which the increasing animosities of the 
two parties appeared every instant liable to explode, 
sent Craterus, whom in Arrian's words, he loved as 
his life, to act on this delicate occasion ; and ordered 


Antipater to lead a new levy of Macedonians into 

The parting between the veterans and Alexander 
was most touching. Every soldier was permitted 
to take personal leave. All were in tears, nor was 
the king an exception; it was not possible for him 
whose heart was so warm, and his affections so strong, 
to take leave without deep emotions, of the rugged 
veterans whose foster-child he had been in earlier 
years, and with whom in youth and manhood he had 
fought, bled, and achieved victories of unparalleled 
importance. The late quarrel and reconciliation 
were calculated to increase the feelings of mutual 
good-will ; for a commander is never so kind as when 
his authority is established beyond dispute ; — nor the 
attachment of soldiers so strong, as when tempered 
with the conviction that they cannot offend with im- 

Autumn was now approaching, and Alexander 
marched from Susa to Ecbatana. His hurried ad- 
vance through Media, had not allowed him time to 
examine that rich province, and its splendid capital. 
He therefore devoted the short season of repose, to 
the inspection and improvement of his chief cities. 
From Susa, he marched to the Pasi-Tigris, and en- 
camped in the villages of Carse, probably the site of 
the modern Shuster. Thence he advanced to Sitta 
or Sambana, where he rested seven days ; at the next 
stage he found the Celonse, a Boeotian tribe, carried 
into captivity by Xerxes, and placed among these 
mountains. They still retained traces of Grecian 


manners, and language, but were rapidly barbariz- 
ing. Their situation was about midway between 
Shuster and Ispahan. Near them was Bagistane, a 
delightful spot, abounding with streams, rocks, 
springs, groves, and all that can render oriental scen- 
ery picturesque and pleasing. A park and palace 
ascribed to Semiramis, furnished accommodations 
for the court, and Alexander lingered for thirty days 
amidst beauties of nature, better adapted, according 
to Diodorus, for the enjoyment of gods, than of mor- 

During this stay, he interfered between his two 
friends, Heplnestion and Eumenes, who had long 
been at variance with each other. The cause did 
not originate with the secretary, nor had he any wish 
to entertain a feud with the favorite of his sov- 
ereign. But the commander of the Companion cav- 
alry scorned the advances of the Cardian, the former 
amanuensis of Philip, and threatened him with fu- 
ture vengeance. Unfortunately we have only the 
termination of the quarrel, as reported by Arrian,who 
writes " Hephsestion dreading this speech was recon- 
ciled reluctantly to Eumenes. ?; The substance of the 
king's speech as given by Plutarch, was a remon- 
strance with Hephsestion, who, without the king's 
favor, would be a person of no weight ; while Eu- 
menes, on the contrary, was a man whose talents 
would render him conspicuous and formidable in any 

Alexander thus showed not onlv his abilitv to es- 
timate duly the talents of his officers, which per- 

iEtat. 32.] NYSEAN STEEDS— AMAZONS. 373 

haps is no uncommon power — but, what is far more 
rare, firm determination to support the useful, 
against the arts and influence of the agreeable char- 
acter, and to patronize merit, even if obnoxious to 

In this vicinity, were the famous pastures, wherein 
the royal brood-mares reared their numerous foals. 
Before the war, one hundred and fifty thousand 
horses of all kinds and ages, were said to have grazed 
in these pastures, but when Alexander visited them, 
the number did not exceed fifty thousand. The rest 
had been stolen during the troubles. Arrian, from 
inattention, confounded two accounts given by Hero- 
dotus, and affirmed the identity of these herds, with 
the jSTysrean steeds. But the INyssean plain, as dis- 
tinctly mentioned by Strabo, was close to the Caspian 
gates ; and the number of ISTyssean horses, so far 
from being countable by thousands, was very limited. 
No more than seventeen of these highly-prized ani- 
mals formed part of the procession in the advance of 
the Persian army under Xerxes, and even one was 
regarded as a fit present for a king. Their descrip- 
tion suits well the cream-colored horses of the royal 
Hanoverian stud. 

It is in these rural retreats that some writers 
place the interview between Alexander and the Ama- 
zons; others again in Hyrcania. According to the 
former, Atropates, the satrap of Media, presented 
Alexander with a hundred Amazons, armed, mounted, 
and equipped; but the silence of Ptolemy and Aris- 
tobulus outweighs the assertion of others. If, how- 


ever, 'a hundred young maidens, in the Amazonian 
dress, with the right bosom bare, armed with the bow, 
the quiver, and the pelta, and taught to manage their 
chargers with ease and elegance, were really pre- 
sented to Alexander by Atropates, it is easy to ac- 
count for their masquerading dress. Atropates was 
the governor of the very countries where the Ama- 
zons were supposed to have resided, and a wish ex- 
pressed by Alexander to see some of the race, if still 
existing, was enough to recall them from the dead. 
Without some such supposition, it is difficult to ac- 
count for the belief, universal among inferior writ- 
ers, of the Amazonian visit. Ptolemy and Aristo- 
bulus, aware of the facts of the case, might easily 
have left the device of Atropates unnoticed. The 
writers who describe the appearance of the fair war- 
riors, add, that Alexander sent a gallant message to 
their queen, and ordered the young ladies to be im- 
mediately escorted beyond the precincts of the en- 
campment, before the younger officers undertook to 
put the valor and gallantry of the maiden chivalry 
to proof in arms.* 

When Alexander reached Ecbatana he offered a 
splendid sacrifice in gratitude for his continued pros- 
perity. This was followed by the contests of the 
palaestra, and theatrical representations. During 
the festivities, Alexander repeatedly entertained his 
friends, and the wine was not spared. The Medes 

* The battles of the Amazons were a favorite subject of 
Greek sculptors, but the Amazons themselves were at best a 
semi-fabulous people. 

Mtak. 32.] DEATH OF HEPH^STION. 375 

and Persians, as I before remarked, were deep drink- 
ers ; but the following passage from iElian is curious, 
as it infers that such was not the custom among the 
Greeks of his day. " When Aspasia was first intro- 
duced to the younger Cyrus, he had just finished his 
dinner, and was preparing to drink after the Persian 
fashion ; for the Persians, after they have satisfied 
their appetite with food, sit long over their wine, 
pledge each other in copious draughts, and gird them- 
selves to grapple with the bottle as with an antago- 
nist." Heracleides of Cuma, as quoted by Athe- 
na?us, goes still further, and writes, that " those 
guests of the king of kings who were admitted to 
share the royal compotations, never quitted the pres- 
ence in the possession of their senses." A fever, 
which attacked Hephsestion at this time, might, 
therefore, have been produced by hard drinking, as 
asserted by some writers; but the hardships which 
he had lately undergone, and the continual change 
of climate, are of themselves sufficient causes. It 
was the seventh day of his illness, Alexander was 
presiding at the games, and the stadium was full of 
spectators, when a messenger brought information 
that Hephspstion was alarmingly ill : Alexander hur- 
ried away, but his friend was dead before he ar- 

* Various writers," says Arrian, " have given 
various accounts of Alexander's sorrow on this oc- 
casion. All agree that it was excessive, but his actions 
are differently described, as the writers were biased 
by affection or hostility to Hephsestion, or even to 


Alexander. Some, who have described his conduct 
as frantic and outrageous, regard all his extrava- 
gant deeds and words on the loss of his dearest friend, 
as honorable to his feelings, while others deem them 
degrading and unworthy of a king and of Alexander. 
Some write, that for the remainder of that day he 
lay lamenting upon the body of his friend, which he 
would not quit until he was torn away by his com- 
panions ; others, that he remained there for a day 
and a night. Others write, that he hanged the phy- 
sician Glaucias ; — because, according to one state- 
ment, he gave him wrong medicine ; according to 
another, because he stood by and allowed his patient 
to fill himself with wine. I think it probable that 
he cut off his hair in memory of the dead, both for 
other reasons and from emulation of Achilles, whom 
from his childhood he had chosen for his model. 
But those who write that Alexander drove the hearse 
which conveyed the body, state what is incredible. 
ISTor are they more entitled to belief who say that he 
destroyed the temple of ^Esculapius at Ecbatana, the 
deed of a barbarian, and inconsistent with the char- 
acter of Alexander, but more in unison with Xerxes' 
wanton outrages against the divinities, and with the 
fetters dropped by him into the waves, in order, for- 
sooth, to punish the Hellespont. — 

" The following anecdote does not appear to me 
altogether improbable. Many embassies from 
Greece, and among others, deputies from Epidaurus, 
met him on the road between Ecbatana and Babylon. 
Alexander granted the petition of the Epidaurians, 


and presented them with a valuable ornament, for 
the temple of ^Esculapius ; adding, however, l Al- 
though zEsculapius has used me unkindly, in not 
saving the friend who was as dear to me as my own 

" Almost all agree, that he ordered Hephsestion to 
be honored with the minor religious ceremonies due 
to deified heroes. Some say that he consulted Am- 
nion, whether he might not sacrifice to Hephsestion as 
to a god, and that the answer forbad him. All agree 
in the following facts, that for three days he tasted 
no food, nor permitted any attention to his person, 
but lay down, either lamenting or mournfully silent ; 
that he ordered a funeral pile to be constructed at an 
expense of 10,000 talents; (some say more,) that all 
his barbarian subjects were ordered to go into mourn- 
ing; and that several of the king's companions, in 
order to pay their court dedicated themselves and 
their arms to the deceased." 

Thus Arrian : The passage has been introduced 
partly for the curious information contained in it, 
and partly for the sake of enabling the modern reader 
to see from what a mass of contradictory matter the 
historian had select his facts. 

From Ecbatana, Alexander returned to Babylon. 
The royal road, connecting the capitals of Media and 
Assyria passed through the territories of the Cosssei, 
a mountain tribe who occupied the valleys and high 
ground between the upper part of the courses of the 
modern Abzal and Caroon. These bandits used to 
receive a tribute, under the name of presents, from 


the king of kings, as often as he travelled between 
Babylon and Ecbatana. It may be inferred that, 
like the Uxians, they had not failed to demand the 
same from Alexander; but he, although the winter 
was far advanced, made war upon them and pursued 
them into their mountain fastnesses. In Arrian's 
words, " neither the winter nor the ruggedness of the 
country were any hindrances to Alexander and Pto- 
lemy the son of Lagus, who commanded a division 
of the armv." It is in the winter season alone that 
the robbers who inhabit the high mountains of Asia, 
can be successfully invaded; if assailed in summer, 
they move from hill to hill, sink one while into the 
abvsses of their ravines, and at another time ascend 
to the loftiest peaks. Their flocks, partly concealed 
in retired vales, partly accompanying their move- 
ments, furnish them with provisions ; but if the 
principal villages, where they keep their stores, flocks, 
and herds, be captured during the winter season, the 
inhabitants must either perish or come to terms. It 
was when the snow was knee-deep on the ground, 
that Timour* at last conquered the Koords of Mount 
Zagrus, a race cognate with the Cosssei. After Alex- 
ander had compelled these to surrender, he built 
towns and fortresses in the most commanding posi- 
tions, in order to restrain their depredations in fu- 
ture; but the cure was only temporary; they soon 
relapsed into their ancient habits, and when Anti- 
gonus had to pass through the vale of the Abzal, to 
the vicinity of Ecbatana, in his expedition against 

* Tamerlane. 

Mtat. 32.] EMBASSIES. 379 

Eumenes, his army narrowly escaped destruction 
from these Cosssei, to whom he had refused the cus- 
tomary gratuity. 

As Alexander was advancing towards Babvlon, he 
met numerous embassies — sent from various nations 
to congratulate him on his final success, and the 
acquisition of the empire of Asia. Here presented 
themselves ambassadors from Libya — from the 
Bruttii, Lucanians, and Tuscans of Italy — from 
Carthage — from the ^Ethiopians — from the Scyth- 
ians in Europe — from the Celtge and the Iberi, whose 
dress was then first seen, and their names heard by 
the Greeks and Macedonians. Some of these sought 
the King's friendship and alliance ; some protection 
from more powerful neighbors ; others submitted 
their common disputes to his arbitration. This 
universal homage was regarded, both by Alex- 
ander and his friends, as a recognition of his sove- 
reignty over the known world. His fame had made 
a deep impression on the nations of the west. The 
Greeks of Italy and Sicily extolled the glory of the 
captain-general of the Greeks, and threatened the 
barbarians who harassed them with his vengeance. 
The fall of Tyre was an event calculated to give a 
shock to the nations from the Phoenician coast to the 
British isles. The lamentations of Carthage for her 
mother city, and her known fears of a similar fate, 
were sufficient to spread the terrors of Alexander's 
name from coast to coast, and to indicate him as 
the vanquisher of the proud and the refuge of the 
distrest. The Spanish Iberi would have ample 


cause to complain of the encroachments of the Cartha- 
ginians on their shores; while the embassies of the 
Tuscans and Lucanians could hardly have any other 
object than to represent the power, the ambition, and 
the king-detesting tyranny of Rome. 

Aristus and Asclepiades, two historians not dis- 
tinguished for their credulity, wrote that Roman 
ambassadors visited Alexander, who, after giving 
them audience, foretold their future greatness, from 
witnessing the steadiness, the enterprise, and free 
spirit of the men, and from hearing an accurate 
account of their political constitution. " I have 
mentioned this (says Arrian) not as certain, nor 
yet as altogether to be disbelieved." Strabo writes 
that Alexander sent an embassy to Rome, to remon- 
strate against the piracies of the Tuscans under the 
supposed protection of the Romans. 

Livy is very eloquent in his attempt to prove that, 
if Alexander had invaded Italy, he would have been 
assuredly defeated and vanquished by the Romans. 
But partiality must either have blinded his judgment, 
or induced him to suppress his honest convictions. 
It required more than ordinary hardihood to assert 
the superiority of Papirius Cursor over the con- 
queror of the East. Had Alexander entered Italy, 
it would have been at the head of an irresistible 
force by land and sea. The Greeks, Lucanians, 
and Samnites, would have hailed him as a deliverer, 
and their bravest warriors would have fought under 
his banners. The Samnites alone, three years after 
Alexander's death, were strong enough to gain the 

iEtat. 32.] ALEXANDER'S TACTICS. 381 

famous victory at the defile of Caudium, and the 
Tuscans were successfully struggling against the des- 
potism of Rome. Alexander had found eight hun- 
dred thousand talents in the different treasuries of 
the empire. His resources, therefore, were inex- 
haustible; and these, applied with the extraordinary 
activity and perseverance which characterized all his 
operations, would not have left the Romans one hope 
of finally saving themselves. If, in later years, 
Pyrrhus, the needy prince of the small kingdom of 
Epirus, with his confined means, shook Rome to her 
foundations, it is idle to suppose that, in a far feebler 
state, she could for a moment have withstood the 
whirlwind shock of Alexander's chivalry. He did 
not trust for victory to the activity of the phalanx, 
but maintained it as a tower of strength, as a fortress 
in reserve, round which the broken part of his forces 
might always rally. For attack he trusted to his 
cavalry, mixed with infantry — to his mounted ar- 
chers and dartmen — to his bowmen — and especially 
to his Agrians, a species of light-armed regular in- 
fantry. If with these he made an impression upon 
the enemy's thronged ranks, broke their lines, or 
confounded their order, he then brought up the pha- 
lanx with its serried front of iron pikes, and swept 
them off the field. 

The Romans would probably have fought bravely, 
but they had neither the skill nor the strength to 
contend with Alexander. In his days their arms 
and discipline were very deficient ; nor was their 
resolution, as proved by the surrender at Caudium, of 


that stern cast which knows no alternative between 
death and victory. 

Although they may in the history of the world 
be regarded as the political heirs of Alexander, yet 
a long period elapsed before they entered on their 
inheritance. They never took possession of the ex- 
tensive empire between the Euphrates, the Indus, 
and the Jaxartes; and the Macedonian had been 
dead for nearly three hundred years, before the king- 
dom of the son of Lagus was added to the dominion of 



Alexander had crossed the Tigris on his road to 
Babylon, when a deputation of Chaldsean priests 
waited upon him, and besought him not to enter 
the city, as their god Belus had communicated to 
them, that a visit to Babylon at the time would not 
be to the king's advantage. Alexander, startled at 
the warning not to enter the city which he intended 
for the capital of his empire, repeated to his friends 
a line from Euripides, the sceptical poet of Greece, 
expressing that 

" A fair guesser is the best prophet," 

and signified his determination to proceed. It ap- 
pears that he suspected the motives of these Chal- 
dsean diviners. The work of rebuilding the great 
temple of Belus had proceeded but slowly, and Alex- 
ander, displeased at this, had announced his inten- 
tion to employ the whole army in its completion. 
This announcement was by no means agreeable to the 
Chaldaaans, to whom Alexander had restored the 
broad lands with which the Assyrian kings had en- 
dowed the temple ; for as long as the edifice remained 



unfinished, the priests enjoyed its ample revenues 
without deductions, but these, as soon as it was com- 
pleted, would be principally expended on the victims, 
lights, incense, and numerous servants whom the 
pomp and ceremony of Assyrian worship rendered 
necessary. Of the extent of this expenditure, and 
of the magnificence of the worship, some idea may 
be formed from a fact stated by Herodotus, that 
during the festival of Belus one thousand talents of 
frankincense were consumed on one altar. Alex- 
ander was, therefore, led to believe that the warning 
voice proceeded from the self-interest of the priests 
and not from the provident care of their god. 

The Chaldaeans, thus unexpectedly baffled, and 
probably conscious that the monarch was likely to be 
as safe within as without the walls of Babvlon, now 

1/ 7 

took up a new position ; and said the danger might 
be averted were the king and the army to make a 
circuit, and enter the city by the western in place of 
the eastern gate. Alexander attempted to comply 
with this advice, but as the marshes and lakes above 
the town rendered its execution difficult, he gave up 
the endeavor, and entered by the fatal portal. 

The signs and warnings were supposed, by the 
diviners of ancient times, to be more distinct and 
frequent, when the fate of the mighty on the earth 
was trembling in the balance. Accordingly omens, 
which could not be mistaken, are said to have pre- 
ceded deaths of all the great men whose lives have 
been particularly recorded by ancient writers. As 
part, therefore, of the history of the opinions and 

JEtsit. 33.] BELIEF IN OMENS. 385 

feelings of the day, those which were supposed to 
have indicated the approaching death of Alexander, 
deserve attention. 

" Aristobulus writes that Apollodorus of Amphi- 
polis, one of the Companions, had been left behind 
to command the military force under Mazams, the sa- 
trap of Babylon. On Alexander's return from India, 
he had been summoned to the camp, and had wit- 
nessed the punishment of various. satraps. Alarmed 
by their fate, he sent to consult his brother Pei- 
thagoras, a diviner, who by inspecting the entrails 
of victims, could foretell future events. Peitha- 
goras sent back to inquire whom he most dreaded, 
and heard from his brother that it wag the King 
himself and liephsestion. The diviner then con- 
sulted the victims with respect to ITephsestion ; and, 
on finding the liver imperfect, informed his brother 
by a sealed letter that he need not be afraid of 
Hepha?stion, who would soon be out of the way. 
Apollodorus received this letter at Ecbatana the day 
before ITepha?stion's death. Peithagoras then sacri- 
ficed concerning Alexander, found the same imper- 
fection in the liver, and transmitted the information 
to his brother. He to prove his loyalty, showed the 
letter to Alexander, who commended his openness, 
and on arriving at Babylon, asked Peithagoras what 
the inauspicious omen was. The diviner replied 
that it was the absence of the head of the liver. The 
King then asked what this foreboded, and was honest- 
ly answered, " some great misfortune." Alexander, 
so far from being angry with Peithagoras, treated 


liim with greater consideration, because he had hon- 
estly told him the truth. Aristobulus writes that 
he received this account from Peithagoras himself." 

It is easy to remember prophetical sayings after 
the event has taken place, and many Macedonians 
recalled to mind that Calanus took leave of all his 
friends but the King, whom he said he was soon to 
see at Babylon. Such reports lose nothing by trans- 
mission ; we ought not therefore to be surprised that 
Cicero, in his work on divination, asserts as a well- 
known fact that Calanus distinctly foretold the im- 
pending death of Alexander. 

Numerous embassies from Grecian states waited 
the King's arrival at Babylon; they were all com- 
plimentary, and received due honors. To them 
was entrusted the care of the trophies which Xerxes 
had carried away from Greece, and which the King 
ordered to be reconveyed to the several cities whence 
they had been removed. Athenseus has quoted a 
passage from Phylarchus descriptive of the appear- 
ance of Alexander's court on public days, which, in 
the absence of better authority, I introduce here. 

" The golden plane trees, the vine of pure gold 
loaded with clusters of emeralds, Indian carbuncles, 
and other invaluable gems, under which the kings 
of Persia used to sit and give audience, were not 
equal in value to the sum of Alexander's expenses 
for one day. His tent contained a hundred couches, 
and was supported by eight columns of solid gold. 
Over head was stretched cloth of gold wrought with 
various devices, and expanded so as to cover the 

iEtat. 33.] FLEET IN THE CASPIAN. 387 

whole ceiling. Within, in a semi-circle, stood five 
hundred Persians, bearing lances adorned with pome- 
granates. Their dress was purple and orange. Next 
to these were drawn up a thousand archers, partly 
clothed in flame-colored and partly in scarlet dresses. 
Many of those wore azure-colored sashes. In front of 
these were arranged five hundred Macedonian Argy- 
raspides. In the middle of the tent was placed a 
golden throne, on which Alexander sat and gave 
audience, while the great officers of the guard stood 
behind and on either side of him. The tent on the 
outside was encircled by the elephants drawn up in 
order, and by a thousand Macedonians in their native 
dress. Beyond these were arranged the Persian 
guard of ten thousand men, and the ^ve hundred 
courtiers allowed to wear purple robes. But out of 
this crowd of friends and attendants, no one dared to 
approach near to Alexander, so great was the majesty 
with which he was surrounded." 

But neither the homage of suppliant nations nor 
the pomp and magnificence of his court, could divert 
the active mind of Alexander from useful projects. 
He sent Argseus with a band of shipwrights to the 
shores of the Caspian sea with orders to cut timber 
in the Hyrcanian forests, and to build ships on the 
plan of the Grecian war vessels. Por he was anxious 
to discover with what sea the Caspian communicated. 

The Greek philosophers reasoning from analogy 
had not given credit to Herodotus concerning its 
alleged isolation. Nor was their scepticism blam- 
able. Herodotus wrote only from report y and as his 


account of the rivers that flow into that sea is grossly 
erroneous, his accuracy respecting the sea itself can 
be regarded only as casual. The narrow outlets that 
connect the Miotic with the Propontis, the Propontis 
with the Euxine, the Euxine with the Mediterra- 
nean, and the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, had 
prepared them to expect a similar outlet in the Cas- 
pian. They would not, therefore, without a careful 
investigation of every creek on its coast, allow the 
anomaly of an inland sea that did not communicate 
with the circumambient ocean. Alexander did not 
live to hear of the success of his plans, but Seleucus 
carried them into execution, and a fleet under his 
admiral, Patrocles, was employed to survey care- 
fully the shores of the Caspian. The dangers 
attendant on the navigation of that rude and bois- 
terous basin seem, however, to have been too great 
for the courage of Patrocles. His pretended dis- 
coveries of the mouths of the Oxus and Jaxartes, 
and of a south-east passage into the Indian Ocean, 
are proofs that he never in reality fulfilled his com- 
mission, nor examined the shores. Had Alexander 
himself lived, the veil of darkness that enveloped 
those regions for thirteen centuries longer would 
probably have been removed. 

The Indian fleet, under Nearchus, had sailed from 
the great estuary, up the Euphrates to Babylon. 
Alexander, on his return to Ecbatana, found it 
there, as well as two quinqueremes, four quadri- 
remes, twelve triremes, and thirty triaconters, which 
had arrived from the Mediterranan, The vessels 

iEtat. 33.] ASSYRIA. 389 

had been taken to pieces on the Phoenician coast, 
carried by land to Thapsacus, re-constructecl there, 
and navigated down the Euphrates to Babylon. 
There he ordered a harbor large enough to accom- 
modate a thousand ships of war, to be excavated 
on the banks of the Euphrates, and covered docks in 
proportion to be constructed. Sailors from all parts 
of the Mediterranean hurried to man his fleet ; among 
these the fishermen of the murex or purple-fish, on 
the Phoenician coast are particularly mentioned. 
Agents were sent to engage the most skilful seamen, 
and to purchase the ablest rowers for his service. 
In a word, it was his intention to form on the Susian 
and Babylonian coast, a second Phoenicia — equal in 
wealth and population to the Syrian. 

He had fixed upon Babylon for the seat of em- 
pire, as the central spot between Egypt and the 
Mediterranean on one side, and the Indus and East- 
ern Ocean on the other. The fertility of Assyria was 
boundless, and its revenues, in the time of Herodotus, 
formed a third of the annual receipts of the Persian 
kings. But these had neglected the interests of 
Assyria, and the ruined cities on the banks of the 
Tigris, described by Xenophon, attest the extent 
of desolation. It was Alexander's policy to heal 
the wounds inflicted by them and to restore Assyria 
to her ancient supremacy. But before this could be 
done effectually, and an unrestrained communication 
opened between the provinces of the south-western 
empire, it was necessary to reduce the Arabs to subjec- 
tion. Their position to the west of Babylonia made 


incursions into the province easy, and their command 
of the course of the Euphrates enabled them to exact 
ruinous sums from the merchants navigating that 
river. His plan for their subjugation was for the 
fleet to circumnavigate the Arabian peninsula, and 
its motions to be attended by a land force. Thirty 
oared galleys were sent successively to examine the 
southern shores of the Persian Gulf, and to report 
the state of the Arabian coast. Hiero, a sea captain 
from Soli, ventured furthest. His orders had been 
to sail round into the Red Sea, until he arrived in 
the vicinity of the Egyptian Heropolis. But when 
he had coasted along the whole extent of the shore 
within the gulf, and doubled the formidable cape now 
called Has Musendoon, his heart also failed him, and 
he ventured to announce to Alexander the greatness 
of the undertaking. 

But difficulties only stimulated him, and the prep- 
parations for the departure of the great expedition 
were carried on without any cessation. Had it set 
out under the command of the King, the probability 
is that it would have proved successful. The Arabs 
were not formidable in the field ; and an active land 
force, supported by a large fleet, might, without 
enduring much hardship or opposition, have made 
the circuit of the peninsula. The fertile spots be- 
tween Muscat and Mocha, and Mocha and Mecca, 
are numerous enough to furnish ample provision 
for an invading army; and from Mecca he could 
easily, have transferred his troops to the Egyptian 

Mtat 33.] THE PALLACOPAS. 391 

shore, where the resources of the valley of the Nile 
were at his command. 

While the preparations were still continued, the 
King turned his attention to the canals and irriga- 
tion of Assyria. To the west or south-west of Bab- 
ylon was a long succession of large cavities or 
depressions in the soil, into which the superfluous 
waters of the Euphrates could be turned in the 
season of the floods. These cavities were supposed 
to have been the works of former Assyrian kings, 
and were equal in extent to an inland sea. The 
canal, which connected the Euphrates with these 
reservoirs, was called the Pallacopas; its upper end 
being in the right bank of the great river, about 
thirty-six miles above Babylon. The entrance into 
the Pallacopas was opened during the floods, in order 
to relieve the banks near and below Babylon from 
part of the pressure of the waters ; but when the floods 
subsided, it was necessary again to obstruct the en- 
trance, and to prevent the water in its fertilizing 
state from escaping into the lakes. It was easy to cut 
the bank, and admit the flood waters into the Palla- 
copas, and thence into the great basins; but it was 
a Herculean task to repair the breach, and compel 
the Euphrates to resume its ordinary channel. The 
satrap of Assyria had every year to employ 10,000 
men, for three months, in the work of obstruction. 
Alexander sailed up the Euphrates, and examining 
the mouth of the Pallacopas, found it impossible to 
remedy the evil at the point where the cut was 
annually made, as the whole soil in the vicinity was 


gravelly and alluvial, and almost defied the task of 
obstruction; but on examining the bank higher up 
the stream, he found, about four miles from the 
ancient place, a spot where the bank below the surface 
was rocky. Here he ordered a new channel to be 
excavated, which might, with comparative ease, be 
constructed in the proper season. 

As the spring floods had already commenced, he 
sailed down the Pallacopas into the lakes. On 
arriving at the foot of the hills, below which in 
after ages the Arabs built Cufa, he fixed on the 
site of the last Alexandria founded by him. It is 
supposed to have been the Hira of a later period. 

Thence he sailed back towards Babylon, pleased 
that he had thus escaped the misfortune foretold 
bv the Chaldsean seers. The lakes on which he was 
sailing were studded with small islands, many of 
which were crowned with the sepulchres of the 
ancient kings of Assyria. As he was steering his 
own vessel between those islets, the broad-brimmed 
hat, which he wore as a protection against the heat, 
and round which the royal diadem or band was 
wreathed, was blown overboard by a violent gust of 
wind. The hat fell into the water, but the diadem 
being lighter was carried by the wind into some tall 
reeds, that grew around one of the royal tombs. A 
sailor swam ashore, recovered the diadem, and, in 
order to preserve it dry while he was swimming back, 
placed it on his head. For this presumption, accord- 
ing to Aristobulus, the man, who was a Phoenician 
sailor, received a flogging; according to others, who 

-ffitat. 33.] FORMATION OF MIXED FORCE. 393 

were more anxious for an antithetical sentence than 
for the truth, he received a talenl for his good serv- 
ice and death for his presumption. According to 
a third account, the recoverer of the diadem was 
Seleucus, whose future greatness, as the most power- 
ful of the successors of Alexander, was thus indicated. 
These various accounts prove that the incident at 
the time was looked upon as a trifle, and that, after 
Alexander's death, the superstitious narrated it 
according to their own fancies. 

At Babvlon Alexander found Peucastes who had 
brought 20,000 Persian recruits and a considerable 
force of Tapeiri and Cossoei, whom the Persians 
represented as their most warlike neighbors. These 
were not incorporated with the already existing 
Persian force, but formed into a separate body. The 
lowest division of his new phalanx was called a 
decad, although it contained sixteen individuals, of 
whom twelve were Persians. The front and rear 
men were Macedonians, with an increased pay; as 
were the two officers answering to the modern Ser- 
jeants, whose duty it was to drill and discipline the 
division. The superior officers of this new corps 
were all Macedonians, so that its establishment must 
have caused an immense promotion among them. It 
is curious that, while the four Macedonians bore the 
arms of the Greek heavy-armed infantry, the twelve 
Persians were partly armed with bows and partly 
with darts. This new force appears to have been 
admirably adapted for the service which the army 
had to expect in its march round Arabia. 


The naval preparations were carried on without 
intermission. Cypress trees, the only ship-timber 
on the banks of the Euphrates, were cut down, and 
new ships constructed. The rowers and pilots were 
exercised daily, and prizes awarded for superior 
activity and skill in the management of the vessels. 

Ambassadors from southern Greece now came to 
present Alexander with golden crowns ; and these, 
on advancing to his presence, appeared in the sacred 
garlands, which were never worn by deputies, except 
when commissioned to consult oracles, or to carry 
gifts to the shrines of distant deities. But while 
these servile republicans hailed him with divine 
honors — while the bravest and best disciplined army 
on the face of the earth loved him as their leader 
and revered him as their King — while his newlv- 
created fleet was furrowing with unwonted keels the 
bosom of the Euphrates, and preparing to spread its 
sails on seas unknown — while he was anticipating 
the fulfilment of his early dreams of becoming the 
master of the gold, the aromatics, the myrrh, and the 
frankincense of the hitherto untouched Saba?a, and 
of compelling the sons of the desert to add a third 
god to their scanty Pantheon — while he was preparing 
to forge the last link of the golden chain which was to 
bind together his subjects on the Indus, the Tigris, 
and the Nile, by the strong ties of mutual advantages 
— the scene was suddenly changed, and he was cut 
down in the prime of life, in the height of his glory, 
and in the middle of his vast projects. 

" And perhaps (says Arrian) it was better thus 

JKtsit. 33.] ORIENTAL CUSTOMS. 395 

to depart, to the extreme regret of all men, while 
his glory was unstained, and before he was overtaken 
by those calamities to which mortals are exposed, and 
on account of which Solon advised Croesus to con- 
sider the end of life, and to pronounce no man happy 
on this side of the grave." 

A few days before his last illness, he was busily 
employed in superintending the formation of his new 
corps. The tent, which was his favorite residence, 
was erected on the plain ; and in front was placed 
the throne, whence he could inspect the proceedings. 
In the course of the day he retired to quench his 
thirst, and was attended by all the great officers, who 
left the throne under the sole care of the eunuchs of 
the palace. An obscure Greek, who was on the field, 
seeing the throne and the seats on both sides empty, 
with the eunuchs standing in rows behind, walked 
up, and deliberately seated himself upon the throne. 
The eunuchs, it appears, were prevented by the eti- 
quette of the Persian court from disturbing the in- 
truder, but they raised a loud cry of lamentation, 
tore their garments, beat their breasts and foreheads, 
and showed other signs of grief, as if some great 
misfortune had befallen them. The event was 
judged to be highly important, and the intruder was 
put to the torture in order to discover whether he 
had accomplices or not in this overt act of treason, — 
for such it was considered to be bv all the Persians 
of the court. But the only answer which they could 
extract from the unhappy man was, that he had acted 
most unintentionally, and without any ulterior views. 


This confession, in the opinion of the diviners, gave a 
more fatal complexion to the omen. Without a 
knowledge of eastern customs it would have been 
impossible to discover why so much importance was 
paid to a trifling occurrence ; but the following pas- 
sage from the Emperor Baber's autobiography will 
illustrate this and other obscure points of the eastern 

" It is a singular custom in the history of Bengal 
that there is little of hereditary descent in succession 
to the sovereignty. There is a throne allotted for 
the king, there is in like manner a seat or station 
assigned for each of the amirs, vazirs, and sobdars. 
It is that throne and these stations alone which en- 
gage the reverence of the people of Bengal. A set of 
dependents, servants, and attendants are annexed to 
each of these situations ; when the king wishes to 
dismiss or appoint any person, whosoever is placed 
in the seat of the one dismissed is immediately at- 
tended and obeyed by the whole establishment of 
dependants, servants, and retainers annexed to the 
seat which he occupies ; nay, even this rule obtains 
even as to the roval throne itself; whoever kills the 
king and succeeds in placing himself on that throne 
is immediately acknowledged as king. All the amirs, 
vazirs, soldiers, and peasants, instantly obey and 
submit to him, and consider him as much their sov- 
ereign as they did their former prince, and obey his 
orders as implicitly. The people of Bengal say, 
1 We are faithful to the throne ; whoever fills the 
throne we are obedient and true to it." 

^Etat. 33.] ORIENTAL CUSTOMS. 397 

To this passage the editor of Baber adds the fol- 
lowing note : " Strange as this custom may seem, a 
similar one prevailed down to a very late period in 
Malabar. There was a jubilee every twelve years 
in the Samorin's country, and any one who succeeded 
in forcing his way through the Samorin's guards and 
slew him reigned in his stead. The attempt was 
made in 1695, and again a few years ago, but with- 
out success. " 

The Persians and Medes were not Hindoos, but 
seem to have adopted many ceremonies from the 
Assyrians, who were a cognate people with the Egyp- 
tians and Indians. This doctrine of obedience to 
the throne had been established for the safety of 
the great body of the nation during the civil contests. 
It furnished a valid excuse for obeying the king de 
facto, without inquiring into his title de jure. But 
the very principle adopted to insure the national tran- 
quillity became one great cause of civil wars. For 
when any bold adventurer succeeded in gathering a 
sufficient number of marauders, bandits, and out- 
casts not troubled with any conscientious scruples on 
the subject of passive obedience, he boldly claimed 
the throne, and success formed the best of titles. 

The change of battle might prove fatal to the 
reigning monarch, and thus at once convert the loyal 
troops into a band of rebels. The Persians under 
Cyrus the Younger did not salute him as king, until 
they had witnessed the defeat of the royal army; 
although Cyrus had long before claimed the crown, 
because he was a better man than his brother. 


The assassination of Darius by Bessus and his ac- 
complices must be referred to the same principle. 
By the murder of his sovereign, Bessus transferred 
his rights to himself. But had Darius fallen alive 
into the hands of Alexander, thev would have de- 
volved upon the captor. 

Many battles in the east have been lost in conse- 
quence of this feeling. Mahmoud of Chisni gained 
the battle which opened India to his army, becausethe 
elephant of his victorious opponent became unruly 
and bore the Rajah off the field. And Dara, a de- 
scendant of the same Baber from whom we derive 
the knowledge of this feeling, lost the throne of 
Dehli, because in the battle which secured the crown 
to his brother Aurungzebe he happened to dismount 
from his elephant in the heat of the contest. 

From this digression we may form some opinion 
of the reasons which induced the Persians to treat 
with such severity the chance-occupant of the royal 
seat of Alexander. 

Previous to setting out on the Arabian expedi- 
tion, the King, according to his usual practice, of- 
fered a splendid sacrifice for its success; wine and 
tVictims were distributed among the divisions and 
subdivisions of the army, and the great officers were 
entertained magnificently by the monarch himself. 
The wine circulated freelv until the nieht was far 
spent; the King then rose and was retiring to his 
tent, when Medius, the Thessalian, who, since the 
death of Hephaestion and the departure of Craterus, 
had most personal influence with him, besought him 


to visit his lodgings, where he would find a pleasant 
party assembled. For what followed Arrian has 
copied the Royal Diary, in which the movements and 
health of the King were made known to the public. 
It forms the most ancient series of bulletins on record, 
and is here presented to the reader, reduced from the 
indirect to the direct form. 

" The king banqueted and drank wine with 
Medius; he then rose from table, bathed and slept. 

" He again dined with Medius, and drank till 
late at night ; on rising from the table he bathed, 
and after bathing, ate a little, and slept there, for 
he was now in a fever. 

" He was carried on a couch to the place of 
sacrifice, and sacrificed according to his daily cus- 
tom. After finishing the service, he lay down in 
the public room until it was dark. During the day 
he gave orders to the leaders concerning the march 
and voyage ; the land forces were told to be ready 
to commence their march on the fourth, and the fleet, 
which he proposed to accompany, to sail on the fifth 
day. He was then conveyed in a litter to the river 
side, where he was placed on board a vessel and fer- 
ried across into the park. There he again bathed 
and went to rest. 

" Next day he bathed and offered the usual sacri- 
fices ; he then returned to his chamber, where he lay 
down and conversed with Medius. Orders were 
given to the generals to attend him next morning. 
After this he dined sparingly, and was carried back 


to his chamber. During the whole of this night, for 
the first time, there was no intermission of fever. 

" Next day he bathed and sacrificed, then gave 
orders to Nearchus and the other leaders to be ready 
to sail on the third day. 

" Next day he bathed again, offered the appointed 
sacrifices, and finished the service ; and although 
there was no remission in the violence of the fever, 
he yet called in the leaders and ordered them to have 
everything in readiness for the departure of the 
fleet. In the evening he bathed, and after bathing 
was very ill. 

" Next day he was removed to the house close to 
the great swimming-bath, where he offered the ap- 
pointed sacrifices. Ill as he was he called in the 
principal officers, and gave orders about the expe- 

" On the following day it was not without diffi- 
culty that he was carried to the altar and offered 
the sacrifice ; he would nevertheless give further 
orders to the great officers concerning the voyage. 

" Next day, although extremely ill, he offered the 
appointed sacrifices, and ordered the generals to re- 
main assembled in the court, and the chiliarchs and 
the pentacosiarchs in front of the gates. Being now 
dangerously ill he was carried from the park into the 
palace ; when the generals entered, he knew them, but 
said nothing, as he was speechless. The fever was 
very violent during the night. 

" And the following day and night, 

" And the following day." 


This was the account written in the Royal Diary : 
" Upon this (continues Arrian) the soldiers became 
eager to see him; some to see him once more alive, 
others because it was reported that he was already 
dead, and a suspicion had arisen that his death was 
concealed by the chief officers of the guard — but 
the majority, as I think, from sorrow and anxiety 
for their king; they therefore forced their way into 
his chamber. As the men passed his couch in succes- 
sion, he, although speechless, greeted them individ- 
ually, by raising his head with difficulty and by the 
expression of his eyes." 

" Moreover," according to the Royal Diary, " Pei- 
thon, Attains, Demophon, Peucestas, Cleomenes, 
Menidas, and Seleucus, slept in the temple of Sera- 
pis, and asked the god if it would be desirable and 
better for Alexander to be conveyed to the temple, 
and to supplicate the god and be healed by him; 
but the answer from the god forbad his removal, 
declaring that it would be better for him to remain 
where he was. The companions reported this answer, 
and Alexander not long after expired, as if, under all 
circumstances, that were the better fate." 

The account given by Ptolemy and Aristobulus 
does not essentially differ from this. According to 
some writers, his friends asked him to whom he 
bequeathed the empire, and he answered " to the 
strongest;"* according to others he added, " that he 

* Strongest in the sense of best. Alexander himself had 
ruled by the force of his fitness, by his talents and character. 
Only so could his successor hold the empire. 



foresaw a bloody competition at his funeral games." 
These extracts from Arrian contain all that can 
be regarded as authentic respecting the last illness 
and death of Alexander ; for Plutarch, who has given 
a version of the Royal Diaries, agreeing in most 
points with the above, has most unfairly suppressed 
every notice of the impending expedition, in order 
to make his readers believe that the great man, 
whose life he was recording, had latterly lost all 
vigor of mind and energy of character, and become 
the abject slave of intemperance and superstition. 

The fever to which he fell a victim, was probably 
contracted in his visit to the marshes ; and the thirst 
which compelled him on a public day to quit his 
military duties, proves that it was raging in his veins 
before it absolutely overcame him. The exertions at 
the public banquet, and the protracted drinking at 
the house of Medius, must have seriouslv increased 
the disease. Strong men, like Alexander, have often 
warded off attacks of illness by increased excitement, 
but if this fail to produce the desired effect, the re- 
action is terrible. It is curious that no physician is 
mentioned. The King seems to have trusted to 
two simple remedies, abstinence and bathing. His 
removal to the summer house, close to the large 
cold bath, shows how much he confided in the latter 
remedy. But the extraordinary fatigues which he 
had undergone, the exposure within the last three 
years to the rains of the Punjab, the marshes of the 
Indus, the burning sands of Gedrosia, the hot vapors 
of Susiana, the frost and snow of Mount Zagrus, 

Mtat. 33.] HIS DEATH. 403 

and the marsh miasma of the Babylonian lakes, 
proved too much even for his iron constitution. 
The numerous wounds by which his body had been 
perforated, and especially the serious injury to the 
lungs from the Mallian arrow, must have in some 
degree impaired the vital functions, and enfeebled 
the powers of healthy re-action. 

Under such disadvantages we must admire the 
unconquered will, the unflinching spirit with which 
he bore up against the ravages of the disease, his 
resolute performance of his religious duties, and 
the regular discharge of his royal and military func- 
tions. On the ninth day, when he was carried to 
the palace, and all the officers down to the com- 
manders of five hundred were commanded to attend, 
it was evidently his intention to have taken leave 
and given his last orders; but nature failed, and he 
was unable to express his wishes when the generals 
were admitted. The report, therefore, of his having 
bequeathed the empire to the strongest is probably; 
either an invention, or an inference from previous 
conversations, in which he might have foretold the 
natural consequences of his premature death. 

The sleeping of the officers in the Temple of 
Serapis, is a curious fact in the history of supersti- 
tion. It proves that Serapis was an Assyrian god, 
whom the first Ptolemy must have well known, and 
this utterly subverts the account preferred by Tac- 
itus, of the introduction of the worship of Serapis 
into Egypt. That most felicitous painter of the 
darker traits of human nature, and unrivalled mas- 


ter in the art of hinting more than he affirms, is a 
gross perverter of the truth, whenever he ventures 
on the subject of Eastern Antiquities. 

Strabo furnishes us with the best explanation of the 
conduct of the great officers, and of their motives for 
sleeping in the temple of Serapis. " Canopus pos- 
sesses the temple of Serapis, that is honored with 
great reverence and distinguished for its healing 
powers. The most respectable characters believe 
this, and sleep in the temple either for themselves 
or for their friends. Some historians give an ac- 
count of the cures, others of the oracles." In these 
few words we see why the friends slept there, and 
why they were anxious to carry their beloved sove- 
reign thither. 

But — as many readers may be surprised to hear 
that Alexander died in the course of nature of a 
regular marsh fever, and that neither poison nor 
the cup of Hercules proved fatal to him — I add for 
their satisfaction the following paragraph from 

" I know that many other accounts have been 
written concerning the death of Alexander — that he 
died of poison sent by Antipater, and prepared by 
Aristotle, who since the death of Calisthenes was 
afraid of him; that Cassander carried this — accord- 
ing to some, in the hoof of a mule, (for even this 
absurdity has been recorded) ; — that Iollas, the 
younger brother of Cassander, administered it, as 
he was the royal cupbearer, and had a short time 
Ibefore been aggrieved by Alexander; — that Medius, 

iEtat. 33.] VARIOUS REPORTS. 405 

the friend of Iollas, was an accomplice, and per- 
suaded the king to join the revellers; — and that on 
draining the cup, he was instantly seized with sharp 
pangs — and quitted the party. One writer has even 
been graceless enough to affirm, that Alexander, on 
discovering that his illness was likely to prove fatal, 
rushed out with the intention of throwing himself 
into the Euphrates, that his disappearance might 
incline men to believe his divine descent and super- 
natural departure — that while he was quitting the 
palace clandestinely he was discovered by Roxana, 
and prevented ; and that he then lamented with a 
sigh, l that she had grudged him the eternal honor 
of being esteemed a god.' I have noticed these 
reports, not because they are credible, but from a 
wish to show that I am not ignorant of them." * 

* About all that we knowdefinitely of the ultimate burial- 
place of Alexander is summed up in the following para- 
graph :— |" Diodorus Siculus tells us that after the body of 
Alexander had lain neglected in his tent for six days after his 
death, while his generals were quarrelling as to who should 
succeed him, it was embalmed and placed in a temporary 
coffin for the purpose of being conveyed to iEgae in Macedonia. 
Arridaeus, the son of Philip, who had finally been elected 
King, was entrusted with the care of the funeral rites, and 
started accordingly with the body from Babylon, intending 
to convey it to Macedonia. Before, however, that journey 
was completed, Arridaeus learned that Alexander had ex- 
pressed a desire, during his life, that his body should be laid 
to rest in the temple of Jupiter Ammon in the desert to the 
east (?) of Egypt, which he had visited after the conquest of 
that country and where he had been saluted as the son of 
Jupiter. Upon hearing of this, Arridaeus altered the direction 
of the route, and the procession turned its face towards Egypt. 


" Alexander (continues Arrian,) died in the hun- 
dred and fourteenth Olympiad, when Hegesias was 

Whether it actually reached its destination, however, the his- 
torian does not say." 

In the year 1887 antiquarians discovered a great " find " in 
the shape of a group of buried tombs near Sidon. The place 
of these tombs is about a mile north-east of Sidon, and a few 
hundred yards from the sea. The relics of this find are now 
preserved in the museum at Constantinople. There is one 
sarcophagus so remarkable that, if there were good evidence 
that Alexander were finally buried at or near Sidon ; or if the 
mummy that was found sleeping his last sleep in that sar- 
cophagus corresponded closely to what Alexander's mummy 
would probably be ; or if there were any other external evi- 
dence, there would then be little doubt that the tomb was 
veritably that of Alexander. But even without these impor- 
tant items of evidence, many antiquarians are fully convinced 
that this is the tomb that enclosed the remains of the great 
conqueror, and no other. In any case, the bare possibility, 
not to say the probability, that this belief is correct, renders 
the find of great interest. The subject is fully discussed in 
Macmillan's Magazine for January, 1893. From that article 
we venture to add the following paragraph, which is part of 
the description of the sarcophagus : — This magnificent sarco- 
phagus, constructed out of a single piece of pure white marble, 
measures no less than eleven feet in length, five feet nine 
inches in breadth, and four feet eight inches in height, and is 
surmounted by a lid nearly three feet high. As was often the 
case of noted heroes of those ancient days, the scenes depicted 
upon the sides and ends represent respectively Peace and War. 
One side and one end is devoted to each of these two subjects. 
The former depicts a hunting scene, the latter a conflict be- 
tween Persians and Greeks. ... As was generally the case 
in Greek battle scenes the principal persons on either side are 
represented at the opposite ends of the group. The Persian 
leader [in this sculpture] bears a close resemblance to the 

JEtat. 33.] HIS CHARACTER. 407 

archon at Athens, (about Midsummer, B.C. 323.) 
He lived, according to Aristobulus, thirty-two years 
and eight months, of which he reigned twelve years 
and eight months. In body he was most handsome, 
most indefatigable, most active, in mind most 
manly, most ambitious of glory, most enterprising,, 
and most religious. In sensual pleasures he 
was most temperate, and of mental excitements insa- 
tiable of praise alone. Most sagacious in discover- 
ing the proper measures while yet enveloped in 
darkness, and most felicitous in inferring the prob- 
able from the apparent. In arraying, arming, and 
marshalling armies most skilful. In raising the 
soldiers' courage, filling them with hopes of victory, 
and dispelling their fears by his own undaunted 
bearing, most chivalrous. In doubtful enterprises 
most daring. In wresting advantages from enemies 
and anticipating even their suspicions of his measures 
most successful. In fulfilling his own engagements 
most faithful, in guarding against being overreached 
by others most cautious. In his own personal ex- 
penses most frugal, but in munificence to others most 

" If then he erred from quickness of temper and 
the influence of anger, and if he loved the display 
of barbarian pride and splendor, I regard not these 

figure of Darius, as represented on the famous Pompeiian 
mosaic ; while concerning the Greek captain there can be no 
mistake whatever, for his features, face and general appear- 
ance are identical with those stamped on the coins of Alex- 
ander the Great, even to the head-dress formed of a lion's 


as serious offences; for, in candor, we ought to take 
into consideration his youth, his perpetual success, 
and the influence of those men who court the societv 
of kings, not for virtuous purposes, but to minister 
to their pleasures and to corrupt their principles. On 
the other hand, Alexander is the only ancient king 
who, from the native goodness of his heart, showed a 
deep repentance for his misdeeds. Most princes, 
even when conscious of guilt, foolishly attempt to 
conceal their crimes, by defending them as rightly 
done. The only atonement for misdeeds is the 
acknowledgment of the offender, and the public 
display of repentance. Injuries are the less keenly 
felt by the sufferers, and hopes are entertained that 
he, who shows sorrow for the past, will not be guilty 
of similar offences in future. Neither do I esteem 
his claim to divine origin as a serious offence, as 
perhaps it was only a device, to ensure due respect 
from his subjects. Minos, ^Eacus, and Rhadaman- 
thus were never accused of offensive pride, because 
men of old referred their origin to Jupiter : no more 
were Theseus and Ion, the reputed sons of 
Xeptune and Apollo. Yet Alexander was surely 
not a less illustrious king than these. I regard the 
Persian dress also as only a device to prevent the 
barbarians from regarding their king as a foreigner 
in all respects, and to show the Macedonians that 
he possessed a refuge from their military asperity 
and insolence. For the same reason he mixed the 
Persian bodv-iruards with the Macedonian infantrv, 
and their nobility with his own select cavalry. Even 

JEtat. 33.] HIS CHARACTER. 409 

his convivial parties, as Aristobulus writes, were not 
prolonged for the sake of the wine, of which he drank 
little, but for the sake of enjoying social converse 
with his friends. 

" Let him (concludes Arrian) who would vilify 
Alexander, not select a few blameworthy acts, but 
sum up all his great deeds and qualities, and then 
consider who and what he himself is who would thus 
abuse the man who attained the pinnacle of human 
felicity — who was the undisputed monarch of both 
continents — and whose name has pervaded the whole 
of the earth. Let him consider these things — es- 
pecially if he be of no consideration, a laborer in 
trifles, and yet unable properly to arrange even them. 
There did not, as I believe, in that age exist the 
nation, the city, nor the individual, whom the name 
of Alexander had not reached. My own opinion, 
therefore, I will profess, that not without especial 
purpose of the deity such a man was given to the 
world, to whom none has ever yet been equal." * 

* Alexander made an empire but he did not succeed in found- 
ing a dynasty. Had lie lived into middle life or old age, it is 
probable that he would have crystallized his work and policy 
so that both would long have endured. But as soon as the 
great leader was dead, the feuds and intrigues of the royal 
family and the generals, led to the speedy extinction of the 
royal house and the partition of the empire. Roxane, Alex- 
ander's first wife and the mother of his posthumous child, be- 
gan the bloody work by murdering Statira (Barsine) the 
daughter of Darius and the emperor's second wife. Then 
Olympias, mother of Alexander, put to death Philip Arridaeus 
and Eurydice his wife, and Cassander killed Olympias and 


later he also put to death both Roxane and her son. Some 
historians give these murders in a different order, but in any 
case the family of Alexander was extinct within fourteen 
years of his death. And within a quarter of a century, his 
great empire had split into four smaller empires, as a result of 
the ambition and rivalry of the leading generals. These four 
empires were — Thrace and Asia Minor ruled by Lysimachus, 
Macedonia and Greece ruled by Cassander, Syria and Baby- 
lonia ruled by Seleucus, and Egypt ruled by Ptolemy. The 
sovereignty of Lysimachus and Cassander soon disappeared, 
but the house of the Seleucidae ruled in Asia for two hundred 
and fifty years, while the Ptolemies reigned in great splendor 
over Egypt for nearly three centuries, or as long as from the 
landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth to the present day. 
What may be called the Alexandrian civilization was long 
continued in the B} T zantine empire, so that the seat of the 
Roman empire was for centuries upon the Bosphorus rather 
than the Tiber. Finally, that wonderful intellectual and art- 
istic awakening of all Europe which took place in the fifteenth 
century, known as the Renaissance, was occasioned by the 
distribution of the Greeks throughout Italy after the fall of 
Constantinople in 1453. This marvellous continental move- 
ment, occurring eighteen hundred years after the death of 
Alexander, was a real, though remote result of his influence 
upon civilization. And yet he was king for only about twelve 
years, and died when only thirty-two. What he might have 
done for the advancement of civilization, had he lived out the 
ordinary term of man's life, the imagination is unable to 




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Republic of Plato. Translated by 

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Romance of Two Worlds. By Marie 

Romo*a. By George Eliot. 

R'ory O'More. By Samuel Lover. 

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Saint Michael. By E. Werner. 

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Silks Marner. By George Eliot. 

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